Former Michigan State basketball star Draymond Green added to what has been an excellent 10-year career with Golden State on Thursday, when Green and the Warriors won their fourth NBA Championship in the last eight years.
Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the only players that were starters for all four of those championships for Golden State. Curry has already clinched a first-ballot induction into the Hall of Fame whenever he's ready to call it a career, and I think Thompson will some day find himself in Springfield as well.
But what about Green?
While the former Spartan doesn't get the headlines that Curry and Thompson get, Green has been the ultimate "glue guy" and a vital part of the Warriors title runs.
During the 2022 NBA Finals, Green moved into the Top 10 all-time in both assists and steals in the Finals. He joined NBA legends Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen as the only players to appear on Top 10 lists for both assists and steals in the Finals.
The 10-year veteran also became just the fifth player (Julius Irving, LeBron James, Robert Horry, Hakeem Olajuwon) to record 200-plus blocks and 200-plus steals in the NBA Playoffs.
Golden State has built a dynasty around shooting the three-pointer at a high frequency and efficiency. That's what Curry and Thompson are best at, and Kevin Durant added another lethal scorer to the Warriors' lineup for two of those four titles.
But championship teams need an enforcer too — someone who's willing to do the dirty work like rebound and defend with physicality. That's the type of basketball player that Green is.
While the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year doesn't often light up the scoreboard, and won't be remembered as a great shooter, Green is hardly a liability on the offensive end of the floor. He has led Golden State in assists per game in the playoffs in four of the franchise's eight trips to the postseason during his 10-year career, and also led the Warriors in assists per game during the regular season five times in those 10 years.
For his career, Green has totaled 7,672 points, 6,059 rebounds, 4,625 assists, 1,177 steals and 913 blocks. He led Golden State in four statistical categories (rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) during the playoffs in three separate postseasons (2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19), and led the Warriors in three statistical categories (rebounds, assists, steals) during the regular season twice (2017-18, 2018-19).
In addition to being a four-time NBA champion, Green is a four-time NBA All-Star and has earned second team All-NBA (2016) and third team All-NBA (2017) honors. He led the league in steals in 2017, and won NBA Defensive Player of the Year that year.
Green has been named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team four times (2015-2017, 2021) and to the NBA All-Defensive Second Team three times (2018, 2019, 2022).
And those are just the accomplishments that Green has racked up in the professional ranks. The former Spartan also had a standout career at Michigan State.
During his senior season in 2012, Green was named the NABC National Player of the Year, won Big Ten Player of the Year and was a consensus first team All-American and first team All-Big Ten selection. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team and won Big Ten Tournament MVP that season.
Green also earned third-team All-Big Ten honors during his junior and sophomore years as a Spartan, and was the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2010. He was a freshman on Michigan State's national runner-up team in 2008-09, and helped lead the Spartans back to the Final Four as a sophomore in 2009-10.
Green is Michigan State's all-time leader in rebounds with 1,096 in his career, and is the school's record-holder in single-season rebounds with 394 as a senior. Green is also second all-time in career steals as a Spartan with 180, and he had the sixth-most steals in a single season with 60 in 2010-11. Finally, Green also ranks eighth all-time in career blocks with 117 denials as a Spartan.
Michigan State retired Green's No. 23 in December 2019.
His basketball career is not yet over, and Golden State's dynasty may not be either. But when Green comes to that time when his playing days are over, he'll have had one of the most decorated basketball careers of any player and should one day find himself in the Basketball Hall of Fame.