One of the most overlooked aspects of the recent Golden State Warriors dynasty has been their swarming defense, led by the sound positional skills of Klay Thompson, the Swiss Army knife approach of Andre Iguodala, the post defense of Andrew Bogut and others at the center, as well as the defensive playmaking ability of Draymond Green, the former Michigan State star who has a knack for big plays via timely rebounds, blocks and steals.

Recently, Green made a surprising statement that is still reverberating throughout the league.

“You know, I can go all around the league and find good defenders, I just don’t think any of them are as good as me,” Green said. “I think I’m the best defender to ever play this game. One hundred percent. That’s my opinion.”

Green revealed his ultra confident stance on Tuesday’s episode of the ‘Dubs Talk’ podcast, and it prompted several swift responses from other top notch recent and historical defensive players.

Draymond won the Defensive Player of the Year Award (DPOY) in 2016-2017 with averages of 7.9 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.4 blocks, but at least one player with more of the awards over the course of his career doesn’t seem to be buying into Green’s hype: Dikembe Mutombo.

The four-time DPOY winner refuted Green’s claims as only he could: with his trademark post-block finger wag, as retweeted from the Atlanta Hawks’ official Twitter account.

The only other four-time winner, Ben Wallace, has not responded yet, but he certainly can make a case for being the greatest defender ever, even though he’s often overshadowed simply by being a part of a franchise that once employed Dennis Rodman, who won two awards.

Meanwhile one of Wallace’s defensive rivals Tony Allen, who hasn’t won the award but was recognized as a top defender in his day, had the following to say.

He seemed far from impressed by Green’s boast.

It also seems as though Allen feels his own defensive prowess has been overlooked (perhaps he and Green have more in common than he realizes). He made six All-Defensive teams during his career.


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Finally Metta World Peace, aka Ron Artest, won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2004.

He took the opportunity to make a series of posts on the art of being a defender in the NBA, while also surprising many by including Green in his top five of all-time after checking out some film.

Personally, I think Green’s defense, just like the Warriors’, is highly underrated, but it’s hard to justify putting Green top five when players like Mutombo, Wallace, Rodman, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Artest, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell are also out there as potential choices.

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Still, it’s that legendary confidence and bravado that has made Green one of the top anti-heroes, and most successful players, in recent league history.