Draymond Green might be the best interview in the NBA, and he raises his game in big moments. Green has been the most outspoken Golden State Warriors player when it comes to the race for 73 wins, and after they finished it on Wednesday, he had a lot to say.
The best quote, via the San Jose Mercury News, came when he was asked what the record means to him.
"It means I'm part of the best team ever," Green said.
About that best-team-ever quote, though: Green has every right to say it. That has to be part of why he wanted the record. It's impossible to truly compare teams across eras, but the measurement typically used for that is simple: wins. The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors have more of those than any team in NBA history.
Green has spent his life achieving much more than anybody else ever expected him to. In that way, he is similar to his team. Somehow, after winning a championship last year, Golden State's critics didn't entirely vanish. The Warriors talked to each other and to the press about the "luck" they supposedly had along the way, and en route to 73, they heard a long list of retired players say that they couldn't have dominated back in the day. You can still nitpick them if you want, but you're now nitpicking the only team to ever go 73-9 in a season.
"When you constantly hear someone talking, as a competitor, you're going to want to prove them wrong," Green told reporters. He added that he is sure that the doubters will continue to doubt them, even after this.
When the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls set the record, guard Ron Harper came up with the slogan, "72-10 don't mean a thing without a ring." The players adopted that mindset as they entered the playoffs, and, of course, they won the title. The Warriors might say similar things in the coming days and weeks -- Klay Thompson actually said it a couple of months ago -- but it's not totally true. Golden State's main goal is a championship, of course, but stumbling in the postseason would not invalidate what happened in between November and now. The Warriors have steamrolled the NBA unlike any team that came before them, and they have done so with a style that is entirely their own. Anyone daring to diminish them sounds silly, and Green knows it.
"Our championship was luck last year," Green said sarcastically. "We lucked our way into 73 wins this year."