Dime caught up with Golden State Warriors forward and USA Select Team member Draymond Green when he was in China doing work for NBA Cares. The multi-faceted, perennially underrated Green talks to us about China’s relationship with the NBA, the moment he found out he’d be a part of USA Basketball, and his relationship with new Warriors coach Steve Kerr.
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Dime:What are you doing in China?
Draymond Green: I am doing an NBA Cares event. I did a basketball clinic at Dongwon Basketball Academy and an NBA Nations event where they had a skills competition, a free-throw competition, a three-point competition, and all those things.
Dime:What is your role at these events?
Green: I’m there demonstrating the competition and actually playing against the guys in the competition. It has been pretty fun.
Dime:What’s the talent like in China? The kids are probably pretty excited to see you guys, too.
Green: I think the NBA Nations stuff is more like fans and maybe some of them are trying to play, but it is more about fan interaction.
Dime: What is it like in China when the NBA arrives?
Green: It is amazing. I think the NBA has definitely grown over here and it is going to continue to grow. There are a lot of jerseys out here and lots of support. They are starting to take basketball more seriously so I think it will continue to grow and get better. It is fun. It is fun being over here and seeing the support and how much energy the fans have for the game.
Dime: Speaking of jerseys, which jersey are you seeing the most in China?
Green: I’ve seen a lot of Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James – probably the most popular jerseys in the United States.
Dime: What about the shoe game?
Green: I’ve seen a lot of Nike, which is great. A lot of pink. Their local brands. Of the most popular shoes in the states, you see a lot of Nike out here.
Dime: How great are these volunteer events and what are you trying to give back to the fans?
Green: At the end of the day just leave a positive impact. You never know what is going to help change someone’s life. Just trying to leave a positive impact, carry myself in the right way, and represent myself and those I represent in the NBA and my family. That is number one. Also, having fun. This is as fun for me as it is for them. I try to have as much fun with them as they are having with me. They are always excited because not everyday they get to see an NBA player so they are super excited. It’s not everyday I get to spend time in China so I’m super excited as well. I’m just trying to leave a positive impact and have fun with it.
Dime: How did you get involved in this?
Green: I actually know the guy who is really in charge of all these things with the NBA and he talked to my agent so they set it all up. The NBA is doing trips to India, Malaysia, Manila, Taiwan, and all these different places. Taking this trip to China helped expand the brand and make basketball bigger globally. They are going to Africa. All places I am interested in going to help the game of basketball and places that I want to visit. It is a really good situation.