Amid criticism due to a 9-10 start to the season, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr went to bat for Draymond Green on Saturday.
According to Showtime's Rachel Nichols, Kerr said: "We don't have a single championship without Draymond, that's just the truth."
During Kerr's 10 seasons at the helm, the Warriors have reached the NBA Finals six times and won four titles. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Green are the only players to be on all four of those title teams.
Curry has perhaps received the bulk of the credit for the Warriors' success, and rightfully so, but Green has been a huge part of the team's success due to his defense, rebounding, passing and tenacity.
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Green's hard-nosed play crosses the line at times, which has resulted in many technical fouls, ejections and fines throughout his career.
During Golden State's 124-123 in-season tournament loss to the Sacramento Kings this week, Green was called for a technical foul, and Kerr believes it shifted the momentum in Sacramento's favor.
During an appearance on 95.7 The Game's Willard and Dibs (h/t Joey Linn of FanNation), Kerr chastised Green for the technical, while also praising him for what he brings to the team:
"Disappointing, because Draymond, he drives a lot of our results. I've told people over the years that we don't have a single championship without Draymond, and I fully believe that. Our teams have been so skilled, but Draymond is a guy who gives us a defensive force, the emotion, the edge, there's just a different mentality with our team with Draymond, and he takes us over the top. He's a very powerful figure and he knows that, and he and I have talked about that.
"But he has to harness that power. I was disappointed last night that he got that tech, reaction to the foul afterward, because the momentum really swung in Sacramento's favor after that. So he's got to be better and he knows that."
The 33-year-old Green, who is in the midst of his 12th season with the Warriors, is a four-time All-Star, eight-time NBA All-Defensive Team choice, two-time All-NBA selection and one-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
His numbers don't leap off the page with career averages of 8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.3 steals and one block per game, but he has a solid shot at being a Hall of Famer nonetheless due to his contributions to one of the greatest teams of all time.
This season hasn't gone according to plan for the Warriors thus far, but with Curry, Thompson and Green leading the way, they still have a chance to go on a run and be championship contenders.
In order for that to happen, the Warriors can ill afford to have Green's antics cost them games.