OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Draymond Green pounds his chest with his right fist and roars toward the rafters after big plays, mouth agape.
Jason Richardson loves every second of it, thrilled to see such emotion from a player he knows beat long odds to reach basketball’s highest level.
Richardson takes great pride in Green’s challenging road to stardom with the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, because he took an almost identical route: From Saginaw, Michigan, to Michigan State to Golden State. Green wears No. 23 primarily for Richardson — Michael Jordan, too — and has been motivated by their parallel career courses.
“That’s a big honor,” Richardson said. “It’s eerie scary the career path we both had, from Saginaw to Michigan State to Golden State. When I found out at Michigan State he was wearing the number mostly because of me, it was an honor, especially being from Saginaw where there’s not many role models or guys to look up to.”
The Warriors honored Richardson on Nov. 24, the same night they beat the Lakers to set an NBA record for the best start in league history at 16-0. It was Green’s…