Because Danny Green missed an open jumper, the death threats started. Green, for all of his accomplishments with the Spurs and his NBA endurance, has never been in such a pressurized position. A game-winning shot was Tim Duncan or Tony Parker or Kawhi Leonard territory. But LeBron picks the open man and there Green was, with a franchise in his hands.
It’s not particularly surprising that Lakers fans incapable of perspective began unraveling. These are the same people that defaced a LeBron James mural before he played one Lakers game and blamed it on their allegiance to Kobe Bryant. Dwight Howard also knows something about delusional Lakers fan who equates winning with life, when winning is winning and life is life. The two hardly intersect.
Green though had a perfect response. He hoped the death threat club was just as passionate about voting as they were about winning a title. I’d say, probably not. If you’re the type who is so emotionally reactive when a shot is missed that you threaten someone with death, then you probably aren’t the person who understands and is motivated by political accountability. A death threat is a low hanging fruit. It’s easy to throw verbal bombs when Danny Green doesn’t have to see your face. It’s a coward move.
Lakers fans have been known to raise hell and have the front office do absolutely nothing about. I offer Smush Parker as an example. But there is a distinction between disliking a player for what his basketball behavior is and being so worked up as to threaten someone’s life- for the uninitiated, it’s not free speech and you can go to jail if the court feels the threat is credible.
A lot of things are going on in this country. Consider the past week. The Governor of Michigan was the target of a kidnapping because extremists didn’t like her shut down protocol. A COVID-infested President had a rally on the lawn at the White House and no one practiced socially distancing. And oh yeah. Dear Leader is still shedding the virus. We still don’t have another COVID relief package. COVID infections are surging. 9 states have set records in new cases: Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota set records in deaths.
But Danny Green is getting death threats.
Stop. The. Insanity.
As for Danny Green. He’s a veteran who was raised in the Gregg Popovich system. About the death threats? He cares like not at all.
“It was nothing new to me so it didn’t really matter. It didn’t phase me. Didn’t care. Just ignore it. Those people’s opinion don’t matter to me. The only people in that locker room and on this roster are the opinions that are relevant and that matter to me.”
He added “If we can get the job done, all the other irrelevant, negative noise doesn’t matter. I’m just not one of those guys who’s going to live my life that way worried about what other people say, think, or do.”
If we’re attaching blame, Danny Green isn’t why the Lakers lost to the Heat. Twice, the Lakers trailed by 11 points. That’s indicative of the why. They didn’t play as hard as Miami, weren’t as dialed in, believed their record up 3-1 meant the Heat were going to disappear. Newsflash: the Heat wants the title as much as the Lakers do. You have to earn the closeout game and the Lakers, not named LeBron James, didn’t earn it.
Applaud Danny Green for letting death threats roll off like annoying raindrops but here is the problem. Most of the threats were made in a moment of impulse, far removed from reality. Fans were emotional, pissed off, angry, and passionate. Most regret pushing send. But there are a few nutcases out there who normalize the behavior of others and don’t have the mental capacity to let it go. They cannot. For those people, the precipice of sanity and illness is a big concern. That’s why the threats will be looked at seriously to see if it is just a crazy fan or someone sicker.
Danny Green is having a tough playoffs. He’s only shooting 34% and 33% from three. But last year he shot 34% and 32% from three. The year before he was worse. 26% and 25% from three. In 2019-20 he was a 41% shooter in the regular season, so he has descended. His legs look tired. A lot of his misses are open shots, similar to his Game 5 miss.
Green signed a two-year deal with the Lakers with no opt-outs. Get mad at the Lakers for having to pay Danny Green $15 million next year. He is the third highest-paid player on the team (behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis) but the 6th most productive in the playoffs.
But when perspective is needed Danny Green is ready. “I hope they are [fans] are passionate about voting or getting justice for these people who deserve justice or get some better change along in the country. It’s a basketball game.”