Question: How did your time in East Lansing and with Coach [Tom] Izzo help prepare you for life and basketball?
Draymond Green: It helped me a lot, just learning from a guy like Coach Izzo on a day-in and day-out basis, him and his staff. The things they — like basketball is great, the things they teach you in basketball. But what they teach you about life goes far beyond what the basketball court can ever teach you. Four of the best years of my life. That place is always home.
Question: You being from Saginaw, your ties to Michigan, what do you think about the Pistons moving to downtown Detroit?
Green: I think it’s great for the city of Detroit. For so many years, the Pistons have been on the outside of Detroit. Even when you look around the NBA, a lot of guys don’t really know about the city of Detroit. They know Birmingham. They know the suburban area. They don’t really know about the city of Detroit. So I think it’s great for the city. The city has continued to grow. It’s growing at a rapid rate. And moving the Pistons down there, I think will help it even more.
Question: After last year’s [experiences], anything surprise you about this team this year?
Green: I wouldn’t necessarily say anything really surprised me other than how fast this team has really come together. I think, if you look at the start of the season and everyone was unsure, everyone was — this person didn’t want to shoot too much, that person didn’t want to dribble too much, or this person, oh, I’m going to pass up this shot because I don’t know if I should shoot right now. Like the way everything has come together so quickly where guys know how to pick and choose their spot, no one’s worried about, oh, am I shooting too much, or is he shooting too much. We just play within the flow of the game and let everything figure itself out. I think the way everything has come together so fast on the offensive end, but most importantly, how everything has come together on the defensive end. With losing some of the guys we lost, a lot of people thought our defense would take a huge hit. However, we figured it out, and we’re still one of the top defensive teams in the league. So the way all that’s just come together has been pretty good.
Question: Do you think people misconstrue your fire and your energy for a negative?
Green: Honestly, I don’t really try to figure out if it comes off the wrong way or not. I’m here to win basketball games, not to worry about how someone views me or views the way I play. My number one goal is to win basketball games. It isn’t to be liked or someone to say, oh, man, I love this game. If I win, that’s all that really matters to me.
Question: Are you surprised your comments on [Charles] Oakley have gotten so much publicity and so much press?
Green: I mean, I don’t know. In today’s day and age, everything gets publicity and a lot of press. We live in the social media age where one click and something’s all over the world. I wouldn’t say it necessarily matters.