Draymond Green was booed every time his face was shown on the jumbotron Sunday.
One fan went too far, posting the following on Twitter: “I hope Draymond Green gets shot in the face as soon as he leaves the arena, which looking at the city-wide stats, is like 37%.”
The fan subsequently deleted the Tweet and issued an apology to Green over Twitter, writing that he did a “very dumb thing meant to be an edgy joke.”
Green was characteristically unruffled.
“If he feels the need to do something like that about basketball, then I feel bad for him,” Green said after the Warriors’ 118-92 win over New Orleans in Game 4 of their Western Conference Semifinals series. “It’s kind of sad that someone would take this that serious. When you’re talking about at the end of the day what’s a game, making death threats and talking about life — I just pray that he gets the help that he needs…I care a lot about basketball, but I don’t care THAT much. Being that we’re in it every day, we’re literally blood threat and tears in this every day — and it doesn’t mean THAT much to me, it shouldn’t mean THAT much to him either.”
As for the booing Green, of course, took it as a compliment.
“I get booed everywhere I go,” he said. “I appreciate them booing me. That’s some deep love they got for me if you’re going to risk losing your voice trying to boo me. Thanks, I enjoy it.”
The one thing that did upset him was the technical foul he got. After being whistled for 15 of them during the regular season — second-most in the league — Green hadn’t gotten one in the postseason in the team’s eight games before Sunday.
He thought it should be nine, and he wasn’t alone in his assessment of the call made by official Zach Zarba with 1:10 left before halftime.
“He didn’t deserve that,” Stephen Curry said in Green’s defense.
Green, referring to Zarba, said: “He told me I got a technical foul because I was yelling after every play. But I didn’t say a word when I got a tech.”
Warriors’ coach Steve Kerr said that Green has matured a lot.
He’s learned when to turn it on and infuse the team with passion and excitement. But he’s also learned when to tone it down so he doesn’t get penalized.
Green didn’t always have that type of restraint. Back in 2015, Green was suspended for Game 5 of the NBA Finals against Cleveland after being assessed a Flagrant 1 foul for striking LeBron James in the groin in Game 4.
But this postseason, Green said he’s learned how to use his emotions to his advantage.
“It’s just growth, understanding what’s at hand,” Green said.
Kerr said that Green has done a great job of navigating that tricky balance.
“Draymond has been phenomenal the whole playoff run,” Kerr said. “He’s just bringing it every single night. The intensity, the defensive acumen, the effort. He’s more experienced than he was a few years ago. He knows how to tow that line.”
Green has been a force on both ends for the Warriors throughout the series, nearly finishing with a triple-double on Sunday with eight points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Not only does Green, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, harass Anthony Davis on the defensive end. He’s also third in the league in assists per game (nine) throughout the postseason behind Rajon Rondo and John Wall, both point guards.
“It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, to be honest,” Stephen Curry said. “He has great court vision. High IQ type of player. When he’s got the ball in his hands, seeing how the defense is playing him, seeing how everybody is moving around him, making passes on time, on target. We have so many threats that if he makes the right decision, good things happen. That’s what he’s been doing since he showed up six years ago. It’s been great to see that part of his game evolve.”
Kerr has repeatedly called Green the “heart and soul” of the Warriors. He has a profound talent for eliciting emotion from his teammates, competitors and fans because he’s so fiercely passionate and intense about the game.
And on Sunday evening, his incredibly thoughtful, articulate and even compassionate response to the man who made the death threat was yet another example of his maturity.
Green has evolved into a leader both on and off the court, even in areas he should’ve never had to deal with.
Source: The Mercury