How Draymond Green's NBA Finals mindset has changed from 2015 to 2022

How Draymond Green’s NBA Finals mindset has changed from 2015 to 2022

There’s plenty about Draymond Green that hasn’t changed since 2015, like his defensive prowess and outspoken personality.

But the player who hoisted the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the very first time seven years ago isn’t the same as the one currently looking to do it a fourth time, Green explained to reporters after practice on Wednesday.

Now 32 years old with three young children at home, the three-time NBA champion is living a completely different life these days than he was as a third-year pro — something that has helped him appreciate the little things during the Finals this time around.

“No. It’s all just a blur,” Green said when asked if he appreciated the moment when the Warriors went to the Finals in 2015. “You’re kind of just living in the moment and going and you just go, just kind of go with the flow. My life in 2015 was totally different than it is now. I didn’t essentially have my own family. You know, kids, wife. I was kind of a boy still, growing.”

For example, Green used to hate taking photos and quickly became exasperated by all of the cameras in his face as a young star in the Finals for the first time. Now, he jumps at the chance to preserve these important memories.

“… As you grow and realize those things, they aren’t promised and you try not to take these things for granted and understand that you are probably closer to the end than you are the beginning,” he said. “It’s just a totally different appreciation that you have for these moments now as opposed to then.”

Now in his sixth Finals appearance over the last eight seasons — with a tortuous two-year hiatus before this year’s run — Green has realized a chance at a title isn’t always a given. The Finals are the summit of basketball excellence, and even just making it there is a hard-earned honor.

After the Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 4 at TD Garden, Green’s family met him courtside to congratulate him. His children Olive, Draymond Jr. and Cash donated matching jackets with their doting dad’s name on the back.

In 2022, family is everything to Green.

“It’s very important to not only share with my son but my two daughters, my wife, my mom, my friends,” Green said Wednesday. “If you would have asked me this three years or five years ago in the midst of a five-year run, you think it’s just normal and natural that you end up in this position. And then after the last two years, you just realize it’s not guaranteed and anything can happen in the blink of an eye that changes everything.

“So you just understand that you don’t have these opportunities often. And when you do, you have to enjoy them, embrace them and share them with the people you love …

On Thursday, Green and the Warriors will hit the TD Garden court with a three-games-to-two series lead.

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Dub Nation can rest assured that if Golden State is able to close out the Finals and hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy again, Green will be taking plenty of pictures.

“This is the pinnacle of basketball. It doesn’t get any bigger than the NBA Finals,” Green said. “Just to share these moments with my family, with my children, in particular — they are seven, five and one. You want the pictures. You hope that when they are 15 that they remember this.

“But just to have these moments in the pinnacle of our careers, it’s hard to really put it into words, it’s such an incredible thing.”

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