Warriors' Draymond Green Says Fans Who Boo Injuries Are 'Very Distasteful'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 3: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors talks to the media after Game 2 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 3, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green made headlines when he decided to flip off Memphis Grizzlies fans as he was leaving the floor with an injury during Game 2 of their second-round playoff series, but he provided some insight into his mindset at the moment.

He explained on The Draymond Green Show that he had a problem with fans booing him after he suffered an injury and was bleeding from a Xavier Tillman elbow to the face:

"You probably have seen my press conference by now where I said, 'Listen, they booed me.' I think it's very distasteful to boo anyone after they have an injury. I saw some of that—or we saw some of that—when Kevin Durant tore his achilles in Toronto and fans cheered when he went down. I think that’s one of the most distasteful things that can take place in sports.
"Why? As I spoke about before, when you leave the basketball court—any injury that you sustain on the basketball court, that injury does not go away when you walk off that basketball court. It's not like 'Hey man, I go on the basketball court, and anything that happens to me there, once I walk off that court, I'm fine.'
"If I get an elbow to the eye and my eye is swollen on that court, when I leave that court it doesn't stay there. You live those things every single day of your life. And so when Toronto fans boo Kevin Durant—or cheer Kevin Durant—cheer when he injures himself, that’s so distasteful."

Green was certainly the center of attention at times for Grizzlies fans during the first two games of the series.

He was ejected in Game 1 for a flagrant-2 foul on Brandon Clarke and then proceeded to run around the court and motion at the crowd before heading to the locker room. Then he was booed as he exited with his injury in Game 2, although he eventually returned to the contest.

"You're gonna boo somebody who they elbowed in the eye and face is running [with] blood, you should get flipped off," Green told reporters. "I'll take the fine. I'll go do an appearance and make up the money. But it felt really good to flip 'em off. … If they're going to be that nasty, I will be nasty too. I'm assuming the cheers was because they know I'll be fined. Great, I make $25 million a year; I should be just fine."

It turns out he was right about being fined.

The NBA announced Thursday that it fined him $25,000 "for directing an obscene gesture toward the spectator stands." According to Spotrac, he has now been fined $986,124 in his playing career.

As Green mentioned, he is familiar with fans cheering for injuries from the 2019 NBA Finals when some in the Toronto crowd cheered when Durant went down with what turned out to be a ruptured Achilles.

The Raptors eventually defeated Golden State in six gams in that Finals, and Durant played just 12 minutes in the entire series.

As for the current series, the Warriors and Grizzlies split the first two contests in Memphis, and Golden State now has home-court advantage heading into Saturday's Game 3.