By Jon Rothstein
» More Columns
He grabbed a mop from underneath the basket and started to get to work on the slippery floor.
It seemed like an odd time for Draymond Green to make an attempt at humor — but why not? He already had done everything else.
Michigan State’s exuberant senior power forward didn’t just dry the wet spots on the floor yesterday in the Spartans’ 65-61 win over Saint Louis — he dominated the game from start to finish.
After posting a triple-double in his team’s second round win over LIU on Friday, Green scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds, and dished out six assists including a key dime late that allowed sophomore point guard Keith Appling an opportunity to make a key 3-point shot down the stretch that clinched the game for Michigan State.
“For Draymond, this is all about whether or not he can get a seat at the table with the rest of the great players at Michigan State,” former Spartans guard Mateen Cleaves said recently. “This season is about his legacy and whether or not he can be in the conversation with other East Lansing greats like Magic (Johnson), Steve Smith, and myself.”
If he continues on the same trajectory, Green should join that exclusive company. A role player as a freshman and sophomore on two teams that reached the Final Four, the 6-foot-7 forward has reached new heights as a senior, often directing his teammates on the floor as an extension of his coach, Tom Izzo.
“He’s by far the best leader we’ve had here since Mateen,” Izzo said of Green.
And it’s obvious he isn’t close to being done.
Now just two wins from his third Final Four appearance in four seasons, Green is prepared to give everything — and maybe more at a chance to win the one thing that’s missing from his college career — a National Championship.
When asked earlier this season what it would take for him to miss a home game against Michigan after he suffered a knee injury, Green simply replied, “death”.
Crazy? A little.
Inspiring? No doubt.
It’s all a part of Green’s master plan, one that will conclude with him being mentioned in the same breathe as the legends that have preceded him in East Lansing.
A seat at the table?
Green certainly hopes he can join.
What did you think of Green’s performance? Leave a comment below.