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Two former Michigan State basketball stars land on NBA All-Defensive teams

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Draymond Green, defensive juggernauts.



Michigan State basketball
© Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Two former Michigan State basketball players have made the NBA All-Defensive teams. Hint: one was NBA defensive player of the year.

The NBA just released their All-Defensive teams for the 2022-23 season. As many know, former Michigan State basketball star Jaren Jackson Jr. of the Memphis Grizzlies recently took home the hardware for defensive player of the year.

No surprise, he was also named to the All-Defensive first team. This is his second consecutive year on the first team, and I suspect it will not be his last.

JJJ averaged a career-high 3.0 blocks per game during the regular season, which led the league.

These accolades are a nice bow to place on top of his fifth year in the league.

However, Jaren was not the lone Spartan on the All-Defensive team this year. Draymond Green once again made an appearance, earning a second-team nod.

Green notched his eighth appearance on an All-Defensive team, with four appearances on the first and second team, respectively. The four-time NBA champion has missed the All-Defensive team just once since 2015, during the 2019-20 season.

Green also earned DPOY honors in 2017, when he led the league in steals. He has been one of the top defensive players in the league for years and can defend just about every position.

Draymond has shown unexpected staying power, with 11 years of remarkable defensive acumen and versatility for the Warriors.

Tom Izzo prides his teams on defense, so he must be thrilled with two Spartans on this list. The question has to be asked – who will be the next former Michigan State basketball player to join Jackson and Green?

Not many schools have had this type of defensive prowess sent to the NBA.

I graduated from MSU in 2016 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. I met my wife there, and we now live in Madison, WI with our two boys (ages 3 and 1). I write on here and spew on Twitter as an outlet for my useless MSU sports knowledge.


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