Draymond Green and the Golden State Warriors are well-acquainted in battles with Chris Paul. They’ve faced off in three separate playoff series and spent numerous seasons vying for the Pacific Division crown over the past decade. Heading into the 2023-24 campaign, the two sides have joined forces after a midsummer trade brought Paul to Golden State and saw Jordan Poole depart for the Washington Wizards.
Green has not shied away from conceding the conflicting emotions he navigated when he initially learned the Warriors might acquire him this offseason. On a scale from 1-10, Green told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk that his past disdain for the legendary point guard broke the scale.
“Eleven! I hated him,” Green said. “Eleven! But I think that’s also a sign of respect.”
As the doldrums of the offseason transition toward a focus on training camp and media day, Green is calling this year “one of the most important years of my career” with a clear objective in mind.
“It’s not to redeem anything about Draymond,” the veteran forward said. “My goal is that we can help Chris Paul get his first championship.”
Green said he and Paul have communicated at length since the trade, both via phone and face-to-face, and Green holds his new teammate in high regard.
Green, Paul, and the new-look Warriors will introduce themselves to the NBA world opening night when they face the Phoenix Suns at 7 p.m. EST inside Chase Center. Green said both he and Paul have adjusted to the novelty of now being teammates, though there still remains work to be done once the games begin.
“We’ve kind of gotten over that hump now,” Green said. “But then there’ll be another hump of actually playing together that’ll take some getting used to. But I’m excited about it. We’ve gotten together as a team, we’ve kicked it together and the vibe feels great. And I’m a student of the game of basketball and Chris Paul is a master, and I’m looking forward to learning from him.”