Forward Draymond Green, who recently agreed to a $100m contract extension to stay with the Golden State Warriors, took exception to anyone who thinks the former world champions will struggle to compete in 2019-20.
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"I've heard people say we're not gonna make the playoffs. That's crazy to me," Green told ESPN's Rachel Nichols on The Jump. "I mean, that's just, like, that's total disrespect, but no different than the disrespect we've all been getting for years."
Vegas odds for the Warriors to make the playoffs are not as good as they were when Golden State won NBA titles in 2015, 2017 and 2018, but Green is thinking positively, even when fans do not consider them favourites heading into the 2019-20 season.
"I like it," said Green, who has been with the Warriors for those past three titles. "You know, being the underdog. It's been a while since we been the underdog. But it brings that underdog chip back, and I miss that chip. I'm pretty sure Steph (Curry) missed that chip, and some of the stuff Klay (Thompson) has been texting me this summer, I'm positive he misses the chip.
"So to the oddsmakers, thanks. You got me where I am today. I look forward to where they take me again."
Green's deal, which begins after next season, is worth $100m, according to agent Rich Paul. He will receive $22.2m in the first year of the deal, with increases each season and will take him up to $27.6m in the final season.
The deal ensures he will be paired with stars Curry and Thompson for the next several years, though they will be missing Kevin Durant, who went to the Brooklyn Nets via free agency.
Green also believes the contract backs up his play while proving doubters wrong since he became a second-round pick in 2012, and has spent his entire seven-year career with the Warriors during their run to five straight NBA Finals.
"It just tells you that there was a method to that madness," he told Nichols. "And while so many people tried to write it differently, as I said before, they were wrong. There's proof in the pudding now that you were wrong. And I enjoy that just a tad."
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For his career, Green has averaged 9.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game with 22 triple-doubles. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2016-17 and has been on the All-Defensive first or second team in each of the last five seasons.