Draymond Green

Draymond states Gobert no longer ‘trash,' thanks to Edwards

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Draymond Green has a new, friendlier perception of Rudy Gobert. 

After the Minnesota Timberwolves impressively swept Jusuf Nurkić and the Phoneix Suns in their first-round NBA playoff series, the longtime Warriors forward used the latest episode of the “Draymond Green Show" to praise Gobert for his four-game performance.

“What Anthony Edwards has taken those guys and done is absolutely amazing,” Green said in the episode that was posted Monday. “Like, Rudy’s actually [is] not trash anymore. He defends now and ironically, he [already is a] All-Defensive player. But I mean like, when you see him on the switches, he’s up at the level. He’s not just sitting back in the drop no more. When he gets switched onto the guy, it’s like his antennas pop on.”

Green previously never shied away from an opportunity to take shots at Gobert, but times are changing as Edwards continues to elevate the Timberwolves.

The four-time NBA champion had to give the center his flowers after Gobert played a critical role in Minnesota’s elite deterrence of big-name Phoenix scorers Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Bradley Beal over the past week.

In addition to acknowledging Gobert as no longer “trash,” Green highlighted the Frenchman’s versatility within Minnesota’s system -- something he failed to offer in prior playoff series as a member of the Utah Jazz.

“He is actually impacting winning,” Green emphasized. “And he’s actually doing that on the defensive end, whereas opposed to other series, he’s gotten played off the floor. Although Phoenix went small at times to try to get back in the game, there were still times that they played Rudy on Royce O’Neale. Before, if you went five guards, there was no chance Rudy Gobert can play -- like zero-percent chance.” 

“And if I’m honest, I don’t think at this point that was a change in ability, that is a change in what’s required of you.”

Gobert always has been capable of defending at this higher level, per Green. 

Interestingly, the two defenders had beef throughout the 2023-24 NBA regular season after Green put Gobert in a headlock back in November, resulting in a five-game suspension for the Warriors star.

But it’s definitely different for Green, a fellow defensive-oriented player, to change his tune toward a rival. 

Hopefully, for everyone involved, Green’s good sportsmanship is here to stay.

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