Ex-Spartan Draymond Green lands on Sports Illustrated's NBA All-Decade 2nd team

The Detroit News
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, top, earned a spot on Sports Illustrated's NBA All-Decade Second Team. Green is a Saginaw native who starred at Michigan State.

Draymond Green has gone from second-round NBA draft pick to one of the top players of this decade.

That's according to Sports Illustrated, which slotted the Saginaw native and former Michigan State star onto its NBA All-Decade Second Team, revealed Tuesday.

Green has averaged 9.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals in seven seasons with Golden State, making three All-Star teams and helping the Warriors win three NBA titles. He was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season.

All of this after waiting until 35th pick to hear his named called in in the 2012 draft.

"Few assumed the Michigan State product would be more than a complementary player when Green entered the league in 2012-13," writes Michael Shapiro, "let alone a three-time champion and five-time All-Defense selection.

"Green is perhaps the best rim protector under 6’8” in NBA history. He can switch all five positions with ease, bullying smaller guards before bodying beefy bigs. Watching Green defend a 2-on-1 is a treat. Seeing him roll down the lane off a Steph Curry pass is an absolute thrill. Green is ferocious and calculated, with his intensity occasionally boiling over the edge. But when he’s locked in, the Warriors’ machine hums like a basketball symphony.

"Green’s brilliance and versatility unleashed the Warriors’ dynasty. If Green can replicate his last decade, the Warriors aren’t leaving the title picture anytime soon."

Green is joined on Sports Illustrated's second team by Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, and Tim Duncan. Pistons forward Blake Griffin made SI's third team, released Monday.

At Michigan State, Green was was a consensus first team All-American in 2012, after he averaged 16.2 points and 10.6 rebounds as a senior en route to Big Ten Player of the Year honors. He helped the Spartans win regular-season Big Ten titles in 2010 and 2012, as well as a Big Ten tournament title in 2012.

He ended his MSU career as one of three Spartans in history to finish with more than 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.