When it comes to the NBA, there are few players who rule the court today as much as Draymond Green. Not only has the 26-year-old player already been named an All-Star, but in his fourth season with San Francisco’s Golden State Warriors, he led his team to a championship win and became the first player in NBA history to put up 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists, 100 steals and 100 blocks in a single season. We recently caught up with the trend-setting player to learn more about his winning style, both on and off the court. Scroll on to learn more about his hometown pride, read what he learned from his mother than influences his play, and to see what must-have pieces he’ll be sporting this spring.
The Window: You’re on the winningest team in franchise history. To what do you attribute this success?
Draymond Green: Our competitiveness, every night. You’re talking about an 82-game season, and there are going to be nights where it’s just not there. Even right now, the team is 63-7, and I can promise you that there were more than seven nights when it just wasn’t there. But we found a way to get it done, just because of our competitive nature. That’s what’s gotten us where we are today. Yes, you have to have talent, togetherness, and that bond, all of which we have. But without a competitive spirit, you won’t get it done.
Beyond just winning—what, to you, means you’ve had a good game?
Winning is everything! I hate to lose! That’s just who I am. A lot of people would judge a personal game by how many points you’ve scored, but I never do that. I judge my game by asking how did I play defensively, how many assignments did I mess up, how many times did I miss the help or get blown by, how many times did I not come up with the rebound, or how many turnovers did I have? Those are the things I judge a game by. Some of my best games, I’ll only score 4 or 6 points, but still feel like I played well. Against Oklahoma City, I had 1 point, but I felt like I dominated. I judge my games completely differently than the average person might.
You’re known to do a bit of trash talking on the court. Any favorite insults or jabs you can share with us? What gets inside the opponent’s heads?
Sometimes you have to be personal! At the end of the day, you’re talking trash because you’re trying to get someone off their square to win the game. So sometime, it gets a little personal—maybe you know something about an opponent that they don’t think you know. You throw that out there, and suddenly they might be trying to go at you a little bit harder than they were before. And if that’s not really who they are, they’re taking the team off their game and overstepping what they should be doing. But it depends on who the guy is—for some players, the best trash talk is not saying anything.
If an opponent manages to get into your head, how do you channel that into your play?
I love when people talk junk to me! Sometimes, I’ll say junk to people just to get myself going, because if they say something back, that can take me where I need to go. That’s how I grew up, though. Growing up in Saginaw [Michigan], that’s what everybody did, talk junk. On the basketball court or not, that’s what people did, so it’s become a part of me.
That takes me to my next question, because I hear both your mom and aunt are expert trash talkers, too. Does it run in the family?
It runs in the family; it runs in the city. That’s the way it’s always been in Saginaw. It’s a small city, so everybody knows each other. That doesn’t stop the trash talk—it makes it easier! When you’re playing against guys you know, it’s like, ‘we’re friends, but not when we step on this court.’ If I can talk to my mom like that when we’re competing in something, I can for sure talk to you like that! So yes, it definitely runs in the family, but it runs in our city.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to describe my style as versatile, just like my game. Whether it’s more of a preppy look, or when I suit-it and boot-it, or a more day-to-day urban look, I describe it as versatile. It’s about being able to go any-which-way, but still look like me. Style is all about comfort and what you make of it. If you feel confident and comfortable in what you’re wearing, other people will read that. But if you wear something and carry yourself like you aren’t supposed to have it on, then other people won’t be feeling it either. If you bring your own confidence to what you’re wearing, people will see that and gravitate toward the look. It’s all about the way you approach it.
You have a uniform on the court, but do you have a fashion uniform when off it?
I definitely have a lot of go-to pieces, depending on where I’m going and the event. It all depends on the feel and look I’m going for, but some things are constant. If I’m wearing jeans, they have to fit. I don’t like too wide of a leg. I’m a big jeans guy and am a huge fan of Amiri jeans, so those are probably my favorite.
Any fashion rules you live by?
I wouldn’t say rules, but I don’t like to go too far over the top. Just far enough where someone says, “Ok, I see that. I feel that.” There are times to stand out, to fit in, or to do a little bit more. It’s all about timing.