There’s all sorts of fears and hurt feelings in the 2022 NBA Finals between the Warriors vs. Celtics, and most of it stems from Celtics fans and Draymond Green. During the Celtics’ Game 3 win, Boston fans chanted “F*** you Draymond!”
It sparked a huge response from Golden State after the game. Obviously, the Warriors will defend their man, but the team’s reaction was a bit much. It even led to Steve Kerr and Klay Thompson using the dreaded “C-word.”
Green’s mantra, aside from being a central two-way player for the Warriors, is to be annoying. In many ways, it’s his defining ability. He follows a legacy of players whose skills on the pitch are surpassed only by their ability to knock everyone else out of their game. Dennis Rodman did it with the Bulls in the ’90s, Bill Laimbeer with the Pistons in the ’80s – more recently you’ve had Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace with the 03-04 Pistons. In all of these cases, we’ve had players who were there to infuriate while becoming the lightning rod of hate to take the heat away from their teammates. That’s what makes it so amusing – the Warriors are outraged that Celtics fans would beat Draymond at his own game.
Now it should be noted that this is not the case Everyone the warrior who get excited. Stephen Curry, and even Green himself, took a measured approach to fan hate in Boston. Curry called it “obvious,” adding, “He expects it.” Meanwhile, Green added, “They’re just talking. It’s not really my job to respond to that. You did what I expected.”
The truth is screaming “F*** YOU DRAYMOND!” is probably softer than anything Green says to his opponents on the pitch. We just don’t get to hear it because he doesn’t have a mic. He’s one of the big trash talkers in the modern NBA, and when the dust settles, he could join the pantheon of the league’s biggest with Larry Bird, Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller – all known for their downright brutal on-court talk during their playing days that would turn opponents into emotional mush.
So what’s the real criticism of the insinuating Celtics fans lacking “class”? It’s just frustrating that the fans are beating Draymond at his own game. We don’t know if the incessant chanting played a part, but we do know that Green was terrible in Game 3. He finished with two points and four boards while committing six fouls in a -13 performance that put Golden State in the bottom series.
The weird thing is why did the Warriors and those in their orbit think poking the bear was the way to go when it comes to Celtics fans? Whether it’s Kerr and Thompson or Green’s wife breaking out in a tirade.
That reaction will only make the fans louder, fueling the fires even more and making the chants nastier – but let’s be clear: we can’t just discuss actions like Wednesday night through rose-colored glasses of fan passion. The truth is the Celtics have an established history of racism in their fan base. Celtics star Jaylen Brown discussed the issue with the Boston Herald last year.
“I think it would be unfair to portray every Celtics fan as a racist. But Boston, we have a lot of work to do, no question,” he said. “There is a lack of resources, of opportunities.”
If the hatred stays reduced to screaming expletives, do it. No damage, no foul. It may ruffle feathers, but green is inviting the kind of hate. When this crosses the line of quantifiable racial hatred, then it’s time for the team and the league to step in. If this is just a “F*** YOU!” Chants, well… Turning is fair game.