OAKLAND -– Although forward Draymond Green received the gaudier award, it was his teammate Andrew Bogut who got the more impressive reward.
Both Warriors were voted Wednesday to the NBA’s All-Defensive team, with Green landing a spot with the first team and Bogut finding a place on the second team.
Yet it’s Bogut who reaped the greatest tangible benefit, the 7-foot center gaining such prosperity he promised to share it with teammates.
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For being considered among the NBA’s top 10 defenders, Bogut, who earned $12.97 million in salary, will pick up a 15 percent bonus, about $1.9 million.
“I’ll take ’em out to eat or something, go to Chipotle or something, get ‘em a Jamba Juice,” Bogut said with a twinkle in his eye.
Said Green: “He’s buying me dinner for sure.”
Green, making the All-Defensive team in his first year as a starter, had 107 first-team votes and 229 votes overall, finishing only behind Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who had 116 first-place votes and 242 overall.
Though Bogut was voted All-NBA third team in 2009-10 and led the league in blocks in 2010-11, this is his first appearance on the All-Defensive team. He received 36 first-place votes and 102 votes overall.
Truth is, one might not have gotten the award if not for the other. Between the two, the Warriors believe they have superior protection in the paint. This is supported by pretty much any conceivable measurement.
“They both represent who we are, as a group,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The strength of this team, really the last couple years, not just this year, has been the defense. We were No. 1 in defensive efficiency this year. Our work in the Memphis series in the last three games, defensively, changed the series.
“A lot of people talk about us being a jump-shooting team, and we are, but all those jump shots are really set up by our defense.”
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Kerr compared the defensive impact of the Bogut-Green tandem to the offensive influence of guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, also known as the Splash Brothers.
Bogut and Green acknowledged their ability to read each other’s thoughts as well as their overall chemistry.
“If I get beat, he's there to cover for me. If he gets beat, I'm there to cover for him,” Green said. “And it's like that with the entire team.
“But for both of us, our front line, to get All Defensive Team honors, that's incredible. It's a blessing, but it's what we've prided ourselves on all year.”
Bogut happily accepts the bonus check but he also hopes the honor results in another benefit.
“It’s nice to be recognized; I really take pride in my defense,” he said. “That’s my main role on the team is to be a rim protector and be a good defender. To get recognized for it, it’s good. Hopefully, the referees read the All-Defensive teams and (I’ll) get a few more calls going my way.”