Draymond Green has been a loud supporter of Jordan Poole’s bid for the NBA’s Most Improved Player title, so it’s no surprise that he defended his teammate again on Sunday.
After practice, Green talked to the media only two hours before the finalists for the 2021-22 NBA Awards were announced. Poole was passed over in favor of Darius Garland of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, and Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs.
It was no fault of Green’s, who has continued to laud Poole’s praises as the rookie guard blossoms into a superstar right before the eyes of Dub Nation.
And it’s no secret that when Green has strong feelings about something, he will express them.
The 32-year-old power forward stated that Poole is miles ahead of everyone else in the NBA regarding who has improved the most since last season during an impassioned five-minute outburst from the platform.
Green can’t understand how anyone could see it any other way, from how he conducts himself on the court to the improvements he’s made to his game.
“If Jordan Poole isn’t the Most Improved Player, the NBA’s methodology needs to be re-examined.” If he isn’t the Most Improved Player, then let’s rename the award to… who we like the most, who we think is more electrifying, and who we believe has the most significant potential to improve our squad. Because there isn’t a single individual on that list who has improved more,” Green added. “It doesn’t matter to me.”
“That’s not the award’s name; that’s the Most Valuable Player, so if we’re talking about the Most Improved Player, and if the award was voted on based on its name, it’s a no-brainer. Who the Most Improved Player is.”
Green’s reaction was spurred by NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke, who reminded him of comments he made following the Warriors’ victory over the Spurs on April 9. Poole’s voyage to the G League last season was praised by Green, who referred to it as a pivotal “fork in the road” for Poole’s NBA future, honoring the guard as the most improved.
“And he really goes [down to the G League] and figures it out,” Green said on Sunday, referring to his previous remarks on Poole. “…I thought that was a lovely thing.” That, I thought, was a significant indicator of his maturity.”
Poole has only grown as a player since his breakout regular season, which he followed up with a historic playoff debut. While Poole is more concerned with the team’s postseason success than with individual accolades, it must be comforting to know that his teammates are rooting for him.
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“If we go by the award’s name,” Green added, “it’s Jordan Poole.” “If it isn’t Jordan Poole, I will launch a Change.org petition to rename these awards since they aren’t accurate.”