Throughout his career, Danny Green has been a reliable 3-point shooter, but his shot has disappeared for long stretches since he entered the bubble.
This has led plenty of Los Angeles Lakers fans to criticize him.
“I try to see everything from all perspectives. I understand not just the situation I’m in, but the situation everybody is in. There’s not much else going on around the world, people are watching basketball. There’s not much else to watch. … There’s a huge focus on what we’re doing and how we’re playing. So a lot of people are tense inside the house, so they take it out on us half the time. …
“But my Nanna used to say, ‘People are gonna talk shit about Jesus and Muhammad, what makes you think you’re safe?’ So I just try to block out the noise, man. Anybody that’s negative that comes across my page, I usually just block them or ignore it. … Just trying to stay focused and have the words of encouragement from my teammates, my coaches and just keep playing basketball. So yeah, especially playing in a big market, that’s expected. They’re gonna talk crazy about you, talk crazy to you, people call it ‘cyberbullying,’ whatever. … People just like to talk s–t.
“Professional sports is the only job in the world as athletes where people are going to critique you publicly. Where people come to your job and heckle you. There’s not many jobs you have in the world where people from the outside are going to come heckle you and tell you how to do your job. But that’s why you get paid the big bucks. You get paid not just to perform, but to be on that platform and be mentally tough enough to withstand all those things and fight through it. …
“We haven’t played great basketball for a while, we had a couple good games in the first round, but hopefully we can build a rhythm, play better, block out the outside noise, continue to push forward, push through, encourage each other and have fun with it, and not focus on the negative.”
Green feels that such fans aren’t true fans of the team. He made that sentiment clear on a recent episode of his podcast “Inside the Green Room.”
“Shout out to the real fans that stuck with us when we were down 0-1,” said Green. “Shout out to the real friends, whether we’re playing good or not, (that) are still by our side. Because those are the real ones. You also know who your true friends are. Some of your true friends have your back, but some of them will still post memes and talk s–t, that’s what they do. When that happens, I say, ‘Memes are cool and all, it’s funny and all, but when it comes to you, you don’t see me doing that to you, so why would you do that to me. And if you’re a true friend, you wouldn’t post something for a laugh.’ … I don’t take it to heart, but you just know where you stand with certain people and certain fans.
“So when it’s all said and done, hopefully in October if we continue to play the way I know we’re capable (of), we can tell those fake fans to go somewhere and won’t invite them to the parade. Even though there probably won’t be a parade because of the pandemic, we’ll have to do something virtually, but if we are to win, I can give those fake fans a couple fingers that they might not like too much. … For the bandwagoners: You’re not real fans. You’re just bandwagon fans. You’re only fans when things are going good. Those aren’t true fans.”
For the 2019-20 regular season, Green made 36.7 percent of his 3-pointers, which is significantly lower than his 40.0 career percentage. Last season, he shot a blistering 45.5 percent for the NBA champion Toronto Raptors.
While he has had plenty of games this season where he has gotten hot and hit several treys, Green has also had some cold stretches.
In the eight seeding games in the bubble, he made only 25.0 percent of his 3-pointers, which is uncharacteristically bad for him.
His shot started to show signs of improvement in the first round playoff series against Portland, but make no mistake: The Lakers will need Green to bring his A-game if they’re to win their 17th world championship.