Draymond Green has made a habit of beating the odds.
He wasn't a top-30 recruit in his high school class. He wasn't a top-30 pick in the 2012 draft. He was a 'tweener when some NBA teams still feared that label, and he never blew people away with his athleticism.
And yet he was as critical to one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history as anyone. Still shy of his 30th birthday—that's coming in March—he's already a three-time All-Star, a three-time champion, a two-time All-NBA selection and, as of early August, a $100 million man.
He's at his best proving people wrong, which he didn't need to do much when his Golden State Warriors were at the peak of their powers. But with Kevin Durant gone and Klay Thompson sidelined indefinitely by a torn ACL, Green finally has that beloved underdog label back.
"It's been a while since we've been the underdog," Green told ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "But it brings that underdog chip back, and I miss that chip. ... So to the oddsmakers, thanks. You got me where I am today. I look forward to where they take me again."
An energized and motivated Draymond is a powerful force, and that could become more statistically clear than ever.
While the forward has long been an advanced-analytics darling, Golden State needs more traditional production from him to offset the missing firepower. With increases in volume and aggressiveness, he could post career bests in points, assists and rebounds, perhaps flirting with a triple-double average in a best-case scenario.
Robert Louis Pangilinan is a Filipino sports columnist, reporter and photographer. He is currently employed with Policefiles and Sportsmanila.net. sports beat: basketball, boxing, mma, billiards,marathon and baseball.
Makaraan ang matigtig na linggo para sa 77-strong training pool ng Sibol, ang Philippine Team na kakatawan sa bansa ng esports medaled events para sa 30th SEA Games, tanging 27 athletes ang nakapasok sa final na listahan ng team.