With every basketball season producing winners and losers –amongst teams and players alike — it’s sometimes difficult to remember that every player on every NBA roster is one of the world’s best ballers.
It’s even difficult for some rookies to realize until they dive in head first and learn a lesson.
It’s conventional wisdom that every player, even the great ones, have what’s called a “welcome to the NBA” moment. These happen when it suddenly becomes clear to a rookie or first-year player that the level of competition has risen dramatically.
For Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, his moment came against the Bulls. He detailed the moment in an interactive interview with Bleacher Report.
“That was ice ages ago. My rookie year, we were playing the Chicago Bulls. My freshman year of college, we played USC with Gibson and DeRozan. I had to guard Taj and I gave him fits. I came into the league my rookie year and thought I would be able to handle him in the pros, and he completely destroyed me. I had to ask for a switch. I was like ‘yo let’s switch, I can’t get a stop'” –Warriors forward Draymond GreenBleacher Report
Now that’s a quality “welcoming” moment. The elevated level of play couldn’t be any more clear to Green after that encounter.
Now, Green is a three time NBA champion with the Warriors and a former NBA Defensive Player of the Year. But at one point, he couldn’t guard Taj Gibson. That’s when Green realized that if he’s going to make it in the world’s best basketball league, he’d better step up his game. Thankfully for Golden State, he did just that and so much more.
(Photo credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)