Draymond Green and the Warriors spent most of the 2010s preventing Chris Paul from winning an NBA championship, eliminating him from the playoffs on multiple occasions.
Now, in a strange twist, the Warriors’ 2023-24 NBA season goal will be to help Paul lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the first time.
“We have new faces and I’ll be frank about it,” Green told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk this week. “My goal this year is to help Chris Paul get his first championship. That’s my goal. It’s not to redeem anything about Draymond. My goal is that we can help Chris Paul get his first championship.”
The Warriors shocked the NBA world this summer when they acquired Paul, 38, for Jordan Poole, 24, and several other young players.
In an instant, Paul went from Warriors nemesis and villain to Green’s teammate.
When Youngmisuk asked Green how much he hated Paul before the trade, the Warriors star didn’t sugarcoat it, while also revealing his initial thoughts on the blockbuster deal.
“Eleven,” Green said. “Eleven. I hated it. Eleven. Eleven. But I also think it’s a sign of respect. And I’ll be honest, I wasn’t super excited at first. Like, ‘Man, we’re thinking about bringing in Chris Paul.’ ‘I didn’t say ‘No.’ ‘. I definitely didn’t say no because, again, I know who Chris Paul is, I know what Chris Paul brings to the table. But it was like, ‘Wow. Okay. Cool. Okay.’ And then it takes a little adjustment, like ‘Wow, this is real.'”
The Warriors don’t open training camp until Oct. 2, but players are already training together. Paul and Steph Curry, friends since growing up in North Carolina, have publicly stated that they have already done a few sessions.
Green acknowledged that they have already spent time together and that he likes what he is seeing.
“We’ve come together as a team,” Green told Youngmisuk. “We’ve done it together. And the atmosphere feels great.”
That vibe is what the Warriors are looking for this season after a turbulent 2022-23 NBA season. Coach Steve Kerr admitted he “failed” to connect last year’s team after Green’s hit on Poole in the preseason.
So now the Warriors are counting on trading Poole for Paul to help them get back to the top of the NBA.
Meanwhile, Green is excited to have another all-time great on the Warriors roster.
“I’m a student of basketball and Chris Paul is a teacher, and I look forward to learning from him,” Green told Youngmisuk.
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