Known as a fierce competitor and enthusiastic athlete, Draymond Green is usually too busy being an enforcer on the basketball court to pay compliments to his fellow NBA colleagues.
But in a recent appearance on Kevin Durant's 'The ETCs" podcast, Draymond made a glowing statement about Portland star Damian Lillard, crediting him as one of the hardest workers he has ever seen.
“When you look at Damian Lillard first, the one difference in Dame’s game now and what’s taken him to another level is he found the ‘in-between’ game. He could always get to the cup, he could always shoot the three.
But you once you got him in-between, it wasn’t so great. Now, you look at Dame, who is an extreme competitor, who is one of the hardest workers I’ve seen. When you talk just putting the work in, like Dame puts his head down, he puts the work in and he gets better every year.
Once he got his in-between game… Now, it’s taken him to the superstar level that he’s at today. And I think that’s that’s a lost art in this game. And I think that takes away from the quality of the game.”
Lillard has clearly made some big strides in his game. As a scorer, playmaker, and even defender, he has improved in almost every area, and is currently amid one of the best campaigns of his career, with season averages of 29.1 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game on 44.2% shooting.
The fact that a premier defender like Draymond recognizes that really says a lot about how much he has added to his bag over the years, and it will be interesting to see how much more he'll improve over the next few years.
At this point, however, Lillard is more focused on winning a Championship than anything else. Whether he gets it or not, he seems to be doing all he can to get there -- and you have to respect him for that.