Michigan motivated by Draymond Green video before dominating Michigan state
Michigan were already playing for a Big Ten Championship, but Juwan Howard felt that a little extra motivation wouldn’t hurt.
Some time before Thursday night’s tip against Michigan State, Howard played a clip of former Spartan and current Golden State Warrior Draymond Green disparaging Michigan.
“He’s a big talker and he was just saying he wished we never won a game,” Michigan playmaker Mike Smith said, describing the video spontaneously after the game.
Michigan won 69-50 to clinch the Big Ten regular season title and dampen the Spartans’ hopes for the NCAA tournament.
The five Michigan juniors and seniors who were on the squad two seasons ago had extra motivation, given they lost at Michigan State on the last day of the regular season with the Big Ten title on the line.
“I just remember celebrating on their home turf after they landed it against us,” said senior Eli Brooks. “To be able to reciprocate – I remember that well enough, so that means a lot.”
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Howard, as he did before Michigan’s game against another rival, Ohio State, used a music video to fuel the fire.
Green was a four-year-old at Michigan State who went 4-3 against the Wolverines. In the NBA, the second-round draft pick far exceeded expectations. Now in his ninth year in the league, Green is a three-time champion and three-time All Star.
Howard laughed when asked about the video, wondering who had spoken to the media about it. “I am a huge fan of Draymond Green. I’ll start with, ”he said.
Howard told the story of, as an assistant coach for the Miami Heat, approaching Green during pre-game practice. “I said, ‘This isn’t a Michigan-Michigan State rivalry thing. I just want you to know that I am a huge fan of your game. I watched you and I saw you evolve. Just know that you still have a fan here.
There’s probably more than one video of Green, a Saginaw native, talking about the Wolverines. One is “Divided We Stand,” the 2019 FOX Sports documentary about the rivalry. In this, Green spoke about not liking Michigan before joining Michigan State and having that feeling grow over the course of his career. “In my freshman year it was like, ‘Yo, I hate them.’ By the time you get into your final year, you simply have no tolerance for even seeing their colors. “
Green added, “I love to see us destroy them. I don’t care if it’s rowing, softball, chess. I like to watch us destroy them. “
This was obviously not the case Thursday night.
“He had a nice little video that I just wanted the guys to listen to,” Howard said. “I think they really enjoyed watching him and listening to the words he said.”