Draymond Green has played an important part in the Warriors dynasty, helping push Golden State to 70 wins almost every season. That hasn't stopped quibbling over his place in NBA ranks, though. While he has been considered a top 10 player in recent years, Green's play may have dipped a bit this season. Does that leave the door open for another player? Andrew Sharp and Ben Golliver discuss in the Open Floor Podcast.
Check out the full episode here and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. (The following transcript has been edited and condensed for clarity).
Andrew Sharp: You're the master of the rankings, the keeper of the Top 100. So I'll let you handle this at the start.
Ben Golliver: See, look, this is the real secret to how you get your question read at Open Floor. You just send in a question you know I will flip out about and Sharp will just serve it up on a platter. It;s just the most obvious formula of all-time. Andrew, are you telling me we're supposed to judge Draymond Green's entire stature in the NBA off one game in which half of his teammates are not playing against the Sacramento Kings in March? Does that sound like a good strategy for judging Draymond Green?
That sounds like an insult to Draymond Green, that's what it sounds like.
Sharp: Excuse me, that's not what I'm telling you. And honestly, I didn't even watch the Kings game, but this is something I have thought about over the course of this season. I think Draymond may be a little bit overrated, and granted, he hasn't been quite the same guy this season so maybe that's part of it too. I just think there are nine of 10 players who by themselves can make a team good, and I don't think that Draymond is in that conversation. I think that he is awesome and he is also the type of guy who unlocks all sorts of possibilities for a good team, and that's why he should be ranked in the top 20. But I think this may have been a case where group think on basketball Twitter has collectively inflated his value beyond what's actually reasonable.
Golliver: Or it may have been a case that he played an integral role in them winning basketball 70 games for three straight seasons, and you have to give credit when guys do that. It could have been a case of that too, right? How many of your guys in this so-called top eight or nine are elite defensive players, Andrew?
Sharp: I'm looking at it because I actually put together a list of my top 15 right now, and so I would say Anthony Davis, Giannis and Kawhi Leonard are three of my top eight that are elite defensive players. And you could include KD in that conversation if you wanted to.
Golliver: OK, but none of them are defense-first players. So let me guess, Rudy Gobert is not in your top 15?
Sharp: No, Rudy Gobert is and actually I think he's the most interesting debate with Draymond. It's whether you would rather Rudy Gobert or Draymond, and I think you still go Draymond just because of the small-ball stuff that he opens up. But Draymond's shooting has been really rough this year, and that's mostly on wide open looks, too. I think he still opens up all the small-ball stuff, but he's less effective in that role than he has been.
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Golliver: Remember, Draymond's a passer before he's a scorer. I think some people still kind of mistake that. I'm not saying you are, but other people when they're judging Draymond they miss that his major positive benefit on offense is his ability to move everywhere on the court and then to open things up as a playmaker to set your pace in transition, grab a defensive rebound and go.
I think first of all, is he slightly overrated by the intelligent basketball fan? That's definitely possible. I would say he hasn't played consistently as a top 10 player during this regular season. Do I expect after the playoffs for him to be back in that conversation? I do. I think he can crank it up just like the Warriors in general can crank it up. Do I think he's still vastly underrated by people who like to throw around mocking hashtag winning player as the emailer did? Yes, I think he's still vastly underrate by those people. Do I think he's hated on more than almost every superstar in the NBA because of his obnoxious personality at times? Yes, I do. I think he cultivates that, he cultivates that hate. I think that plays a bigger factor in how people view Draymond than the stat nerds or the real plus-minus guys like myself, who are saying, 'Hey, this guys deserves to be in the conversation.'
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You touched on it with the Rudy Gobert comparison. It's the versatility both positionally and stylistically that help Draymond, right? So you can play him at the four or the five, you can play up or down, you can play slow if you want. If you're taking Rudy Gobert as your franchise guy, the Jazz fans and their media people have recently been all over this hype train saying he needs to be a top 10 guy. It's a fascinating test case because he is that defense-first girl and his value is so obvious there. But you're committing to a specific style of play with him, right? You have to play one way and you have to find guys who can fit with him. With Draymond, I think it's a little bit more flexible and it's easier to build around him. So when I'm drafting in a vacuum test, I would still take Draymond over Gobert, but not by a ton.
The point you made before about Draymond's value, we should keep a really close eye on it, because if anyone from that big four is going to fall off because of age, it's going to be Draymond. I think he's going to be the first to go and when he goes it'll be interesting to see how graceful that is. Is he still able to kind of fit into a more narrow role on offense, sort of like Iguodala has? Scale back your offense, concert your energy and ramp up on the defensive end. Or does it get to be a situation where athletically, because he was never the prime, peak athlete, does he find himself in a situation where his impact just drastically crashes. And I'm not suggesting it's going to happen even next year, but some time here in the next couple seasons it's going to happen.
Sharp: And it's not even completely his game falling off. I think a lot of it is just wear and tear, and people sometimes don't realize how taxing Draymond's role is. And there's a reason that most other players can't pull it off, let alone pull it off for an entire season or four-year stretch like Draymond has. So it's just something to watch.
Supple on Keane support and being Cluxton’s understudy
A rain-soaked summer’s evening in Paris may have been an unusual setting for to thank Roy Keane for his support, but such is the unusual path Shane Supple’s career has followed.
Supple and his Bohs team-mates are currently on a fine run of form, having risen away from the relegation zone into fifth place in the SSE Airitricity League and welcome Cork City to Dalymount Park on Sunday in the FAI Cup semi-final.
It is a far cry from nine years ago when Supple announced his retirement from professional soccer in August 2009, telling then Ipswich manager Keane that he had "fallen out of love" with his profession.
After six years away from the game, where he pursued his interest in Gaelic Football and spent the 2013 season as understudy to Stephen Cluxton with Dublin, he played for Crumlin United in 2015 before signing for the Gypsies in 2016.
A remarkable turnaround saw him called into the Republic of Ireland’s end-of-season international friendlies against France and the USA.
It was the encounter at the Stade de France which saw the 31-year-old speak to Keane properly for the first time in nine years.
"It was nice to thank Roy for how he handled that whole situation," he told Soccer Republic Extra. "He asked me if I needed any help or if I wanted to take a few weeks off from Ipswich [in 2009]. I think he saw from how I reacted how I made my mind up that it was time to come home.
"Within three days I was out of there, contract cancelled and no issues.
"I said, ‘thanks for how you looked after me’".
He also reflected on his time with the Dubs where he had the unenviable task of attempting to dislodge Cluxton as number one choice.
"I went into the panel in 2013 in Jim’s first year and spent the whole season involved behind Stephen. I knew I wasn’t going to get an opportunity to play as much as I wanted to play. I wanted to play every game.
"I saw there wasn’t much opportunity for me so I stepped back"
"It was a big ambition of mine when I came back from England to play for Dublin.
"I saw there wasn’t much opportunity for me so I stepped back from that, and there were work commitments as well. Eventually it came back around to Bohs."
He continued to juggle club commitments with St Brigid’s and Bohs, but had to step earlier this schedule pushed him to his limits.
One particular weekend in April was "too much" he admits where he lined out for Bohs on Friday night, played senior club championship against Ballymun at Parnell Park the following day before travelling to the Brandywell for a game against Derry City on Monday night.
Now he is fully focused on the Gypsies and says the recent 3-1 victory away to St Patrick’s Athletic was another positive note.
"We’re on the crest of a wave at the moment. The young lads stepped up at St Pats where the other lads had left off.
"The confidence is high and the second half of the season has been easier for us. The first half was difficult in terms of recovery, especially for us because we are part-time. Lads are working, so recovery is not as bad.
"We have a game now every week, it’s been a lot easier. We can work on things on training and we have a settled team."
Bjorn: We are facing one of strongest ever US teams
Europe captain Thomas Bjorn insists he and his team do not fear a revitalised Tiger Woods despite the 14-time major winner's spectacular return to form.
Bjorn said they were not scared of the 42-year-old, who ended a five-year drought with victory at the Tour Championship on Sunday, nor any of his stellar United States team-mates.
Woods has rocketed from world number 1,173 in December to 13th after finally breaking his barren spell at the PGA Tour's season-ending event.
He may have seen off the challenge of the likes of Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy, John Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey at East Lake but that does not mean Europe's Ryder Cup players will feel any inferiority at Le Golf National this week.
"We don't fear anyone because we've played against them so many times before individually but we respect our opponents and know what we are up against," said Bjorn.
"That, I think, is key to all this. We'll go out and do what we can and play our game.
"What stands on the other side we know is one of the strongest American teams of all time.
"We do what we do as a European team and then we go out and take that onto the golf course – and that's all 12 Americans.
"It's not one individual, it's the whole team we are up against."
The United States team comprises six of the world's top 10 and 11 of the top 17, including number one Dustin Johnson, number three Brooks Koepka and number four Justin Thomas.
But none carry the weight that Woods does, even if his Ryder Cup record is poor by his previously high standards.
In seven appearances he has won 13 and lost 17 of his 33 matches, including just half a point from four matches on his last appearance in 2012.
Much of that was put down to his singular, often aloof, attitude in the past which did not lend itself to a team environment.
But after back fusion surgery threatened to end Woods' career, he has returned a different, more approachable, character and many of his team-mates hung around at East Lake to see him win.
"Tiger played so well at The Tour Championship and to grab a hold of the golf tournament early and fend everyone off, I think was a good buzz in the team room," said USA captain Jim Furyk.
"A lot of the guys stayed out there at the course to congratulate him.
"He's played really well all year, I think. (He's) been knocking on the door at two majors and had a number of opportunities to win this year.
"When you look at now, maybe comparing past Ryder Cups to this one, I think what's so special is Tiger has engrained himself in our team atmosphere and became such a big part of the team in 2016 as a vice-captain, and then again in 2017 as an assistant captain at the Presidents Cup.
"I think it's special for him now to kind of join these younger players as a team-mate.
"You know, he won yesterday as an individual and I know how much that means to him and how important it was, but he's flipped that page pretty quickly and is really excited to join his team-mates and move forward in that process."
Even Bjorn had to admit he was pleased to see Woods back in the winners' circle.
"I spent 25 years playing professional golf with Tiger Woods and any time he does anything great, that's a story and that's where we want to see him," he said.
"We want to see him at the top of the game. He does so much for the game of golf. It was great for the greater aspect of the game.
"Him winning golf tournaments is something that's brilliant and I think we all benefit from it because in the end, whatever it is these 24 guys are going to do this week, the game of golf needs that boost of somebody like him that transcends the game to the masses, needs him at the top of the game.
"So for everyone in golf, it's brilliant."
Furyk doesn’t fear hostile reception in Paris
Captain Jim Furyk is not expecting a hostile reception when the United States attempt to retain the Ryder Cup with a first victory on European soil for 25 years.
Rory McIlroy bore the brunt of the heckling over the first two days of competition at Hazeltine in 2016, ultimately having to ask for one man to be removed after he hurled abuse at him during Saturday's afternoon fourballs.
American players and vice-captains attempted to maintain order during matches and messages were posted on scoreboards on the first tee asking spectators to report unruly behaviour to officials.
Furyk conceded a number of fans were "unruly" at Hazeltine but is not expecting to receive the same treatment at Le Golf National on the outskirts of Paris when the biennial contest gets under way on Friday.
"Do I think we're in for a hostile reception? No I don't," Furyk said in a joint press conference with Europe captain Thomas Bjorn. "There were some fans that were unruly at Hazeltine. We did the best we could to remove some of those fans.
"I think the majority of the fans were there cheering for their side and that's what I would expect to see. I've always admired the European crowd, the way that they band together and can be louder as one with the songs, the chants.
"I know they will be loud, they will be boisterous. That's definitely an obstacle. It's part of that home advantage that Europe will have this week and that's something my players have to respect but hopefully they enjoy. Hopefully they thrive on that."
The United States may be odds-on favourites after their 17-11 win at Hazeltine, but they have not won the Ryder Cup in Europe since 1993, a fact of which Furyk is all too aware.
"I started to be reminded about that the moment I took this opportunity as captain," added the 48-year-old, who played on losing teams in Europe in 1997, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
"Is it extra motivation? I'm not sure you really need extra motivation in a Ryder Cup. The guys are excited and anxious and it's been a thorn in their side since 1993. There's some veteran players that have never won on foreign soil and that's a part that's missing in their careers.
"It's not anything I need to mention in the team room. There's not like a big '25' sitting in there. They are well aware of how difficult it is to win in Europe and that's the battle we face this week."
One of those players to have experienced numerous defeats in Europe is Phil Mickelson, who finished last in the Tour Championship on Sunday on 13 over par.
Team-mates Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka also propped up the leaderboard and three-time major winner Jordan Spieth failed to qualify for the season-ending event, but Furyk insisted he has no concerns about his players.
"We also had a lot of players play very well last week," Furyk added. "In my career I've played very well in practice and had rough tournaments. I've had bad practice in some events and went on to win those same events.
"So last week is behind us. Of course everyone would like to be in good form but it's a different golf course, different venue, totally different type of golf tournament."
Tiger Woods admits he feared he’d never win again
Tiger Woods has admitted fearing he would never win another golf tournament due to his chronic back injuries.
Woods claimed the Tour Championship on Sunday for his first tournament win since August 2013, and his 80th PGA Tour title.
The 42-year-old languished as low as 1,199 in golf's world rankings less than a year ago following spinal fusion surgery, but completed a remarkable comeback in Atlanta at the weekend.
The 14-time major champion warmed up for this weekend's Ryder Cup in style, before conceding his injury woes had him worried he may never mount a credible return to the sport's summit.
"It means a lot more to me now in the sense because I didn't know if I'd ever be out here again playing – doing this again," said Woods.
"I don't know, 20 years ago, hell, I thought I was going to play for another 30 years. That's just the way golf is. You can play until you're 70 years old.
"You see these guys on the Champions Tour playing tournament golf at 70.
"Then there was a point in time I didn't know if I'd ever do this again.
"So yeah, I appreciate it a little bit more than I did because I don't take it for granted that I'm going to have another decade, two decades in my future of playing golf at this level."
Justin Rose pipped Woods to the overall FedEx Cup title, with the two men gearing up to face off when the Ryder Cup starts in Paris on Friday.
Woods underwent his third surgery in 19 months in April 2017 in a bid to cure pain in his back and leg, at that point fearing he may never be able to play golf again.
Asked whether the reaction to his victory might break the internet, Woods chose to poke fun at both his age and longevity.
"Well, when I came out here, there was no internet," joked Woods, in a nod to a career that kick-started with his 1997 US Masters triumph.
Chronicling his injury problems, Woods continued: "Probably the low point was not knowing if I'd ever be able to live pain-free again; am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down without feeling the pain that I was in.
"I just didn't want to live that way. This is how the rest of my life is going to be? It's going to be a tough rest of my life.
"And so, I was beyond playing. I couldn't sit. I couldn't walk. I couldn't lay down without feeling the pain in my back and my leg.
"That was a pretty low point for a very long time.
"So just to be able to compete and play again this year, that's a hell of a comeback.
"Some of the people that are very close to me, they've seen what I've gone through. Some of the players have seen what I've gone through, and they know how hard it was just to get back to playing golf again.
"Forget the elite level, just be able to play golf again and enjoy being with my kids and living that life.
"And then lo and behold, I'm able to do this and win a golf tournament.
"To be able to compete and play again, yes. To win, that's another level.
"I'm just enjoying being able to do this again. I didn't know I was going to do this again."
JP McManus donates €100,000 to every GAA county board
JP McManus has donated €100,000 to every Gaelic Games county board in Ireland to be divided equally among their local clubs.
The €3.2million gesture has been made on the back of Limerick’s All-Ireland Hurling Championship win this year
McManus has been a main sponsor of Limerick GAA for years and is heavily involved in sport, including horse racing and the upcoming JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in July 2020.
A letter to each county board has said the intention is for the continued development of Gaelic Games in the country.
A spokeperson for the GAA has described it as "unprecedented" and an "incredible gesture".
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