Former Bull Taj Gibson is Draymond’s answer on toughest non-star matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
It looks like even one of the best defenders in the NBA has trouble guarding certain players.
In the latest episode of the Draymond Green Show, the former Defensive Player of the Year was asked which non-star was the toughest to guard and his answer is surprising.
“Non-superstar I had trouble guarding my whole career was Taj Gibson,” Green said. Green continued to say that even though the general perception of Gibson was that he was a defensive specialist with a knack for rebounding, he has immense respect for what Gibson has done on the court.
Green recalled when he was a freshman at Michigan State, he faced off against Gibson in his final year at USC. After Michigan’s starting center got into foul trouble, Green proceeded to guard Gibson and did well, especially considering how much of a force Gibson was in college.
Green also noted that it was Chicago Bulls’ star DeMar DeRozan and Gibson’s last college game together. However, because Green beat DeRozan and Gibson, Gibson decided to take it to Green once he got to the NBA.
“Every chance he got to play against me after that, he would destroy me,” Green said. As a prolific defender, Green took pride in never asking to switch onto another player or asking for help.
That said, in his second year, Green had to ask Jermaine O’Neal to guard Gibson instead.
“This dude got my number, I can’t quite stop him … so that guy for me, non-superstar was Taj Gibson for sure,” Green concluded.
The 37-year-old Gibson appears to be nearing the end of his career while Green is riding high from winning his fourth NBA championship with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be surprising if Gibson has a bit more pep in his step the next time he faces off against Green next season.