Greene, Stephen Curry and Clay Thompson are the only players who have been rookie players in all of those four Golden State Championships. Carey already got his first induction into the Hall of Fame when he’s ready to call it a career, and I think Thompson will one day find himself in Springfield, too.
But what about Green?
While the former Spartan doesn’t get the headlines that Carrie and Thompson do, Green was the absolute “sticky guy” and a vital part of the Warriors tournament.
During the 2022 NBA Finals, Green moved into the all-time top ten in both assists and steals in the Finals. Join NBA legends Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen as the only players to appear in the top ten lists for both assists and steals in the Finals.
The 10-year-old veteran also became the fifth player (Julius Irving, LeBron James, Robert Hurry and Hakim Algoun) to score over 200 blocks and over 200 steals in the NBA playoffs.
Golden State built a dynasty around shooting the Triple Pointer with great frequency and efficiency. That’s the best of Curry and Thompson, and Kevin Durant has added another killer scorer to the Warriors’ lineup for two of those four titles.
But championship teams need an outlet, too – someone who’s willing to do the dirty work like bouncing and defending with physical strength. This is the type of basketball player that Green represents.
While the 2012 Big Ten Player of the Year doesn’t often shine on the scoreboard, and won’t be remembered as a great shooter, Green holds no responsibility on the offensive end of the ground. He led Golden State in assists per game in the playoffs on 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.
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For his career, Green totaled 7,672 points, 6,059 rebounds, 4,625 assists, 1,177 steals, and 913 cuts. Golden State led in four stat categories (rebounds, assists, steals, blocks) during the playoffs in three separate seasons (2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19), and led Warriors in three stat 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 earned 2nd Team All-NBA (2016) and 3rd Team All-NBA (2017) honors. He led the league in robberies in 2017, and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award 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 these are just the achievements that Green achieved in the professional ranks. The former Spartan also had a prominent career in Michigan.
During his first season in 2012, Green was named NABC Player of the Year, won Big Ten Player of the Year and was the first All-American and first All-Big Ten to be selected. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team and won the Big Ten Tournament MVP that season.
Green also earned third-team All-Big Ten honors during his first and second years as a Spartan, and was the senior 16th man of the year in 2010. He was a freshman on Michigan State’s runner-up team in 2008-09, and helped return the Spartans to the Final Four as a sophomore in 2009-10.
Green is the Michigan State’s all-time leader in the rebound with a score of 1,096 in his career, and is the school’s record holder in the rebound for one season with 394 as the oldest. Green also ranks second ever in professional thefts as a Spartan with a score of 180, and had the sixth most number of thefts in a season with a score of 60 in 2010-11. Finally, Green also ranks eighth all-time in the career blocks with 117 rejections as a Spartan.
Michigan State retired at number 23 from Green’s in December 2019.
His basketball career isn’t over yet, and the Golden State dynasty might not be either. But when Green comes to that time when his playing days are over, he will have one of the most decorated football careers of any player and will one day find himself in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
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