Just ask Draymond Green, the All-Star big man who wasn’t selected by the Golden State Warriors until the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Most second-rounders that pan out, and they are few, fall into one of two categories: raw athletes who end up honing their skills in the pros, or limited NBA athletes who end up overcoming their physical disadvantages through a mix of skill, smarts, and insane drive.
Green, a short power forward who’s not a particularly explosive leaper, falls into the latter category. One often-listed example of Green’s drive to succeed is that he can recite the names of all 34 players selected before him in 2012.
In a video shared by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Green proved that the story is not hyperbolic.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 22, 2017
The way he nods when he says “HB” for Harrison Barnes seems to indicate this video was taken during the 2015-16 season or earlier.
Just five years into his career, Green is already one of the most successful second-round picks of all time, garnering two All-Star selections, two All-Defensive first teams, and two All-NBA nods, with the 2016-17 awards not yet released.
Green was the Defensive Player of the Year runner-up in back-to-back seasons before 2016-17, and is favored to claim the award this year.