Draymond Green: Fan Interactions Have Gotten Worse; 'Misery Loves Company'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - MARCH 10: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during a break in play from the game against the Phoenix Suns at ORACLE Arena on March 10, 2019 in Oakland, California. 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 the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Golden State Warriors star forward Draymond Green said Friday that the NBA's punishment structure gives opposing fans more incentive to coerce a confrontation with players.

"Misery loves company," Green said, adding fan interaction as a whole has "gotten worse" over the past couple years, per Mark Medina of the Mercury News:

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Draymond Green said fan incidents have gotten worse with NBA players in recent years. Draymond: “Our penalties have gotten worse.” Draymond argued that gives fans an extra incentive to say inappropriate things to players. Draymond: “misery loves company.” https://t.co/XeCzZM5K4t

On Tuesday, Oklahoma City Thunder superstar point guard Russell Westbrook was fined $25,000 by the NBA for "profanity and threatening language" directed toward a Utah Jazz fan during Monday night's 98-89 road victory at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake city.

Westbrook said after the game the fan told him to "get down on your knees like you're used to," a statement he believed was "racial" and "inappropriate."

"For me, I'm just not going to continue to take disrespect for my family," he told reporters. "I just think there's got to be something done. There's got to be some consequences for those type of people that come to the game just to say and do whatever they want to say. I don't think it's fair to the players—not just to me, but I don't think it's fair to the players."

Shane Keisel, the fan involved in the incident, told Felicia Martinez of KSL TV he planned to filed a lawsuit against Westbrook and denied any racist comments were made during the exchange.

"We were just two men, I thought, having fun initially," Keisel said. "It turned to, I mean the guy is F-wording everything. He's just a classless dude."

The Jazz later announced Keisel was permanently banned from all events at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

In February, Los Angeles Clippers power forward Montrezl Harrell was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" used during a verbal exchange with a heckler.

Green clearly doesn't think the issues will stop based on the way things are currently being handled.