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Draymond Green excited for latest homecoming to Michigan

From NBA media reports

* Tonight on ESPN: Warriors vs. Pistons (7 ET)

Draymond Green’s ties to the state of Michigan will likely never be severed, as the native of the state starred at Saginaw High School and Michigan State before finding success in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors.

Green’s crew takes on the slumping Detroit Pistons tonight in a game that will be his first in downtown Detroit since the 2009 NCAA men’s Final Four. Taking in the Pistons’ new Little Caesars Arena is just part of the appeal for Green, who shared his thoughts about the upcoming game with Mark Medina of The Mercury News:

“Obviously growing up in the state of Michigan, Detroit is the big city. But you’ve heard so many negative things all these years,” Green said. “I was listening to guys be like, ‘Man, we got to go to Detroit.’ Now they finally get to see Detroit. With the growth and everything that is happening downtown, I’ve been so excited for guys to come and see Detroit.”

The Warriors first saw Detroit by practicing on Thursday at University of Detroit Mercy, a private Roman Catholic and Jesuit college that Warriors assistant coach Willie Green attended. As for Draymond Green, he also played a game here his sophomore year at Saginaw High School before attending Michigan State. Meanwhile, the Piston’s new arena marks one of many examples in which the city has built more industry downtown after it previously went through economic struggles amid the auto and housing crisis.

“It’s a different city. When I was in high school, there was nothing there,” Green said. “You had two casinos down there with homeless people walking around. Now it’s completely different. You have so many restaurants and a lot of development taking place.”

Green offered a mixed perspective on that development. He credited Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert for investing in downtown Detroit as the founder of Quicken Loans. But Green stressed he’s “not necessarily happy about gentrification.”

“That’s tough on a lot of people’s lives. But I am happy to see the growth, Green said. “What happened in the arena down there brings more jobs. I think that’s a great thing. Suddenly when you bring the arena and more businesses around it, that’s when you bring new jobs. That’s kind of some of the things that make me happy. You grow that and you can grow everything else. I’m pretty excited about it.”

Green is listed as probable to play tonight with a sore right shoulder, while guard Patrick McCaw is out because of a concussion. Additionally, center Zaza Pachulia (sore left shoulder) is out and forward Andre Iguodala (sore left knee) is probable.