Golden State Warriors' forward offers ultimate compliment to French phenom

Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

As a former Defensive Player of the Year and an eight-time All-Defensive player, Golden State Warriors' veteran Draymond Green has seen almost everything the NBA has to offer. Well, almost everything.

Green was one-half of an incredible battle between he and number one overall pick Victor Wembanyama on Friday, with both proving the most influential players on the floor in the Warriors' win at Frost Bank Arena.

Draymond Green offered Victor Wembanyama the ultimate compliment after the Golden State Warriors' victory on Sunday

Wembanyama led a late fourth-quarter surge from the Spurs to pull within two with a minute remaining, but Green wouldn't be denied after a vintage performance from the 34-year-old.

Green first had a huge offensive rebound from a Stephen Curry miss, finding Klay Thompson for the open three to give Golden State some breathing space. On the next offensive possession, with the Warriors up only three, Green boxed out Wembanyama, forcing the Frenchman to foul before knocking down the crucial second free-throw to make it a two-possession game.

The four-time All-Star had earlier changed the complexion of the game in the third-quarter, proving impactful on both ends of the floor as the Warriors won the period 37-21. Green finished the game with a season-high six steals, with head coach Steve Kerr labelling his performance a "defensive masterpiece".

Yet despite Green's performance, Wembanyama still put up another astonishing performance to lead the Spurs with 32 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks in 31 minutes.

Wembanyama has more than delivered on all the hype that preluded his rookie season, having averaged over 21 points per game while also establishing himself as a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate. Green offered the 20-year-old the ultimate compliment after the game, noting that he's fortunate that he won't have to guard Wembanyama for the next decade and beyond.

"I was just telling Trayce (Jackson-Davis) and those guys, I'm happy I got an opportunity to play against him now because they'll have to deal with him a lot later and I won't be in the league no more so that's good for me."

Draymond Green on Victor Wembanyama

Green added 21 points and 11 assists of his own on Sunday, pushing the Warriors to a 117-113 victory that pushes them to a 40-34 record, while the Spurs remain bottom of the conference at 18-57.