Draymond Green told reporters that NBA players are “vulnerable” when it comes to fan interactions during games, in light of Golden State Warriors minority investor Mark Stevens shoving Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry in Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Green says players are “essentially helpless.”
The League slapped Stevens with a one-year ban and a $500K fine for his actions.
“I think players are definitely vulnerable,” Green said Thursday. “Any time you’re in a situation where you can do no right, like in defending yourself, you’re vulnerable. So if a fan says whatever they want to you and then you say something back, you’re fined. If Kyle was to then hit back, a lot more than a fine would have then happened to Kyle.
“In a situation where you’re essentially helpless, you’re always going to be vulnerable in anything in life. So it’s not just on the basketball court. In any situation you can’t help yourself, you’re vulnerable. So I think as players we definitely are.”
Green’s commentary came on the heels of Stevens pushing Lowry after the Raptors guard jumped into courtside seats to attempt to save a ball from going out of bounds. Lowry confirmed Thursday that Stevens also made derogatory comments toward him in the midst of the exchange. Green and several other Warriors players said they appreciated the way Lowry handled the situation, noting that members of a team’s ownership group, like players in the league, should be held to a higher standard.
“When you’re speaking of players, we are held to a different standard,” Green said. “Coaches are held to — anybody in the NBA circle, you’re held to a different standard. So I think it’s no different when you start talking of anybody in any ownership group in the league. You’re held to a different standard. You can say it’s unfair or not, like whatever your opinion is on it, whether you’re one way or the other, that’s just the reality of it. We’re all held to a different standard, and that’s not going to change.
“This game continues to grow. That standard continues to grow. A player in 2019 is held to a different standard than a player was in 1999. That’s just the reality of where our game is today. We’re all held to a different standard.”