“I’m Not Crazy Enough to Begin to Say, ‘Yeah I Could Have Stopped Shaquille O’Neal’ ”: Warriors All-Star Draymond Green on if He Played in the NBA 25 Years Ago

Published 12/24/2021, 10:51 PM EST


Most NBA fans would agree that the game has changed a lot since the 1990s. A major reason behind that is several changes in the style of play and NBA’s officiating rules. However, one noticeable difference is the physicality of players while defending. The difference is so stark that the best NBA defenders today would agree that players like Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, and Hakeem Olajuwon were a class apart in terms of physicality.

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Warriors’ former All-Star Draymond Green who’s one of the best defenders in the NBA today admitted that he would not have a chance against these bigs 25 years ago.

May 11, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) celebrates against the Phoenix Suns during the fourth quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Warriors’ All-Star admits he wouldn’t stand a chance against Shaquille O’Neal

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While talking to NBA’s Steve Aschburner, Draymond Green admitted that even though he hopes he might have “found a way“, he knows he’s in no position to claim he would be better than legends like Shaquille O’Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon.

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He said “I’m not sure I would have been able to guard Shaquille O’Neal. I’m not sure I would have been able to guard Hakeem Olajuwon. I’m not crazy enough to begin to say, “Yeah, I could have stopped Shaq.”

What does this mean for Draymond Green and the NBA?

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It would be absurd to say that Draymond could have stopped arguably the most dominant centers in the history of the NBA, especially in their era when a lot more physical contact was acceptable in-game. While some might call this a historical revisionist bias, but when the player himself admits he most likely wouldn’t have been able to do it, there’s only one conclusion to draw.

Feb 20, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, left, argues with referee Marc Davis (8) as Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington looks on during the second half at Spectrum Center. The Charlotte Hornets won 102-100. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

It might be a different question if today’s rules were applied but without a doubt, Draymond would have had no chance against these legends 25 years ago.

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Do you think that Draymond Green would still be an All-Star and an NBA Champion if he played in the league 25 years ago? Let us know what you think about it.

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Chaitanya Dadhwal

493 articles

Chaitanya Dadhwal is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Even though his journalism is driven by his desire to understand both sides of an argument and give a neutral perspective, he is biased towards Houston Rockets and Arsenal, and he has shown exactly how loyal he can be through tough times. Currently a Law student at Jindal Global Law School, he aims to have his own sports management firm one day and enjoys rap music during his time off.

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