Athletes in sports learn and develop all sorts of different ways. Some are just jacked and built like freight trains, others have the speed and quickness, and some just have a knack for playing their respective game.
There’s nothing to knock on athletes in that contingent. But there is something to be said about those are considered ‘students of the game’ – players who put in the max time and effort to put themselves among the elite in their sport.
One of those that could be considered a ‘student’ of his game is former Michigan State Spartans star and current Golden State Warriors All-Star Draymond Green.
Green, the former All-American at MSU, saw a spike in his minutes and stats each year he played under head coach Tom Izzo from 2008-12. In his senior year, 16.2 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists and shot nearly 39 percent from three-point range.
After being drafted 35th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft by the Warriors, Green has gradually grown from a role player on an emerging team, to a budding superstar on a championship club. The statsheet-stuffing Saginaw-native had 13 triple-doubles this season. Even more unbelievably, that was good for 2nd in the NBA behind Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook with 18.
Earlier this year, Green became the first player in NBA history to achieve this unprecedented mark.
Green has been out in northern California now for four seasons and over the last two, he’s been considered the glue of that team, he does everything for them. Draymond would be the first one credit Izzo and his time at MSU for the development and belief in his skill set.
‘Day Day’ would also be the first one to give credit to the WNBA for the way he has learned to nail down the basics of basketball?
In a recent interview with SI, Green raved about his immense respect for the lady ballers and the way they handle the game and carry themselves.
“In the NBA there’s always a guy who is only around because he can jump. He doesn’t have a clue about the fundamentals. I learn more from the WNBA. They know how to dribble, how to pivot, how to use the shot fake.”
For anyone who has followed Draymond since his freshman year at MSU, he’s always been keen on being fundamentally-sound. I guess it is why it makes him the perfect fit for an NBA team that is second to none when it comes to being near flawless with the basics.
Green has always been on the forefront for gender equality and he expressed that in an interview with ‘Lean In’ back in March.