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Draymond Green: ‘I think I’m one of the best players in the NBA’

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Draymond Green’s supreme self-confidence rang out loud and clear recently when he proclaimed himself one of the best players in the NBA.

The Golden State Warriors star’s suggestion he ranks among the top players in the Association may come off as arrogant or even foolish, but as he points out, a lot more goes into determining a truly great player in the NBA than a simple scan of the stats.

On a team that boasts the superstar offensive talent of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Green selflessly recognizes where he stands in the pecking order. Green points out it’s “just basketball knowledge” to understand when he needs to defer to those offensively-gifted players. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe he’s among the best in the league.

“I think I’m one of the best players in the NBA,” Green told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “Am I going to go out and score 30 every night? Absolutely not. But I didn’t say I was one of the best scorers. I think I’m one of the best players, and I think anybody should believe that. I think if you don’t believe that, you’re failing yourself, and you’re not allowing yourself to be that … But I don’t say that in a sense of, ‘Oh, I’m one of the best. I’m better than Steph, I’m better than KD.’ Like, that isn’t me. When I just look at the game, that’s how I feel.”

Green goes on to say how the little things he does “are more self-gratifying than anything,” adding he’ll “run down the court feeling amazing” about setting a nice screen to free up a teammate for a bucket.

While Green’s 10.9 points-per-game average puts him well down the NBA scoring leader list, he does lead the Warriors in rebounds (10.1), assists (7.1), steals (2.3) and blocks (1.6).

His teammates recognize and value the myriad roles he plays as well.

“What he’s extremely good at … that’s the intangibles of a game,” Curry said of Green.

And for that — especially on a team coming off an NBA-record 73-win regular season that just missed out on repeating as NBA champions — perhaps Green really is on to something.