Isaiah Thomas Says 'It's a Joke' Draymond Green Called Kelly Olynyk Dirty

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 9, 2017

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) smiles during the first half in Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, May 7, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas came to the defense of teammate Kelly Olynyk on Tuesday, saying it's a "joke" that Draymond Green called him a dirty player. 

"I don’t know how he can call anybody dirty. ... It’s a joke that he said that," Thomas said to a group of gathered reporters.

Green, known for walking the line between aggressive and dirty, said on the Dray Day podcast that he does not respect Olynyk because of the way he plays.  

"Kelly Olynyk is a dirty player, man," Green said (h/t Jordan Heck of Sporting News). "He's dirty. Dirty player, man. I don't respect guys like that. I mean, I know he's not like the greatest basketball player of all time, so maybe you feel like you got to like do that, but you don't like—just dirty. Like I don't respect that man, he dirty."

Green, who seemingly saw Thomas' quote circling Twitter, responded with a tweet of his own:

Olynyk was in the news over the last week after his hard screens in Game 3 of the Celtics' series with the Washington Wizards caused Kelly Oubre to shove him to the ground and draw a one-game suspension.

The situation called Olynyk's play into question once again; he'd previously drawn criticism for arm bar tactics against Robin Lopez and Kevin Love.

"I don't think I'm a dirty player. My teammates don't think I'm a dirty player," Olynyk told reporters. "It's basketball. It happens. You have to set a screen, you box out, you have to do a lot of things. It's not something you focus on. You just go out there and play the next game."

Green famously drew a suspension for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA finals after multiple incidents of kicking opposing players in the genitals. His absence in part helped spark the Cleveland Cavaliers' comeback from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the 73-win Warriors.