The 2016 NBA Finals will likely always be one of the most memorable series in league history for many reasons. Of course, it may be best known for featuring a 3-1 series comeback.
It also marked LeBron James’ first title with his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was able to lead the Cavs over the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, who were fresh off setting the NBA record for regular season wins.
Warriors star Draymond Green recently spoke about that series during a conversation with Los Angeles Clippers star Paul George. He pondered what would’ve been of his life had he won Finals MVP in 2016, though he made it clear he has no regrets about what happened.
“If we win Game 7, I'm the Finals MVP."
— Podcast P with Paul George (@PodcastPShow) July 3, 2023
During that series, Green averaged 16.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 block per game while knocking down 48.6 percent of his shots from the field and 40.6 percent of his 3-point attempts.
Stephen Curry placed decently during the series, but his numbers were below what fans typically expect from him. Curry had Green beat in points (the sharpshooter averaged 22.6 points per game), but Green had the upper hand in nearly every other statistical category.
Green’s best game of the series came in the seventh and final game, which the Cavs won on the road in California. In that contest, Green led the Warriors with 32 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, though it was not enough to stop his team from becoming the first squad to give up a 3-1 Finals lead.
The one-time Defensive Player of the Year found himself suspended for Game 5, the contest that many believe helped flip the series.
While Green would surely love to have five NBA titles to his name right now, there are no guarantees when thinking about how the league would’ve turned out had the Warriors won that season.
Kevin Durant wound up making his way to Golden State after that season and helped the Warriors win back-to-back titles against James and the Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018.
Green is still with the Warriors to this day and figures to retire with them after agreeing to re-sign with the team on a four-year, $100 million contract.
Perhaps he’ll face off against the Cavaliers in one final playoff battle before he hangs up his shoes for good.