Draymond Green is from Saginaw, Michigan, but played AAU basketball about 70 miles away in Detroit. Green consequentially became a Pistons fans as a kid and became enamored by the toughness and dominance of one Ben Wallace.
Wallace, the former champion with the Pistons, is having his no. 3 jersey retired on Saturday when the Pistons play the Golden State Warriors.
Green penned an open thank you letter to Wallace for his past and current influence.
Here’s just an excerpt from Green’s letter, but check out the whole letter here on the Detroit Free Press.
Ben had an incredible work ethic. Not only did he work out extremely hard every day, but more importantly, he had the heart of a lion. It was amazing because he didn’t say much, but everyone knew that he meant business.
Thank you, Mr. Wallace, for showing me that it is possible to make it to the NBA and wreak havoc while being undersized! Hopefully, there is a kid watching me and wondering the same things I did about you, realizing that man does not have the ability to judge what’s in another man’s heart!
Congrats, Big Ben.
Green’s toughness serves as the heart and soul of the defending champions, much like Wallace’s did for the Pistons. Of course, Green’s versatility as an offensive playmaker is far beyond what Ben Wallace displayed on that end of the floor, but clearly he found true inspiration from Wallace being an undersized forward who was drafted 35th overall in the NBA Draft.