NBA Finals 2019: Warriors’ Draymond Green explains why he thinks he’s the best defender ‘ever’

Draymond Green is confident in his abilities.

The 29-year-old Warriors forward told The Athletic earlier this month he thought he was the best defender ever. Green elaborated on that comment Wednesday during NBA Finals media day.

“I think as a competitor, if you’re trying to do something meaningful, if you don’t have the mindset that you’re the best ever, you failed already,” Green told reporters. “That’s been my mindset since I can remember. That will be my mindset as long as I can remember anything — that I am the best ever at what I do. And every day that I step on the basketball floor I will strive to be that.

“But my mindset will always be as such, as I am the best to do what I do. And that will give me a shot at being the best.”

Green’s versatility and ability to switch defensively has been key to the Warriors’ recent run. Golden State will be playing the Raptors for its third straight title and fourth championship in five seasons.

Green won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016-17.

“Before you can ever reach anything you have to believe it. You don’t just mistakenly become great at something,” Green said. “You probably at one time or another believed that you can be great at that and then you work to get great at that and you reach that greatness. But you don’t mistakenly become great. And then you start to believe, ‘oh man, I’m great at that.’ No, you believed that before and you worked to get that. So, I always believed that. And I work every day to reach that.”

Green has also picked up his game offensively in the playoffs, as he’s averaging 13.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists.

“He’s been great on and off the floor,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “His leadership has been great. … You’re seeing the best of Draymond right now. He’s in great condition, an unbelievably high level of play and very poised.”

Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors will tip off Thursday at 9 p.m. ET in Toronto.