Draymond Green has the utmost respect for Kobe Bryant. If he really needs some advice, Draymond seeks out Kobe’s wisdom.
After getting suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals and then losing Game 7 to the Cavs, Draymond turned to Kobe to help him deal with all of the media backlash.
“It was the best sh** I ever heard,” Draymond told GQ after the Warriors won the 2017 championship. And it appears that during the 2018 preseason, Kobe said something to Draymond about his retirement that offered a new perspective in regards to Draymond leaving a legacy in Golden State.
The 2017 Defensive Player of the Year told the following to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic:
“Kobe probably loved basketball more than anybody. And if not basketball, he loved competing more than anybody. And yet he was like, ‘It’s the best. I do whatever the fu** I want to do. I travel. I get a chance to still make money. I get a chance to do other things I want to do in my life and it’s great.’
“That’s because when Kobe left this game he didn’t have anything left. Kobe is not spending one day thinking, ‘I should have.’ He gave everything he had. That’s how I feel about what we’ve got and whenever this ends. Whether it’s this year or if it’s five years from now, I know that I will have given this everything I’ve got to give and I can live with that.”
The Warriors have won three of the last four championships and are the favorites again. But with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson headed for unrestricted free agency in July, nobody really knows where they will be one year from now.
If Draymond wins Defensive Player of the Year or makes an All-NBA team this season, he will be eligible for the “super max” contract of about $221 million over five years. So that possibility complicates things for Golden State’s management and ownership as well.
So yes, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the not-so-distant future. But for now, Draymond is just taking it one day at a time and enjoying the challenge of trying to win another championship…
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller