Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Danny Green offered some thought-provoking perspective about receiving threats after missing a 3-point attempt in the closing moments of Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
With the Lakers trailing 109-108 on Friday night, a wide-open Green launched a 3-point attempt from the top of the key with just eight seconds left and missed. Had he connected, Green would have been the hero who helped the Lakers win their first league title in a decade.
Instead, Green’s miss unleashed a torrent of criticism and death threats directed at not only him, but his fiancee, who had absolutely no role in the shot selection. That led Green to offer hope that such twisted passion could be redirected in a more positive manner.
“It’s a basketball game,” Green said. “You know, people are emotional, fans are emotional. I hope they don’t take it that seriously. I hope that they’re that passionate about voting or injustice for these people who deserve justice. We’ll get some better change along the country.
“But, it’s a basketball game at the end of the day and they’re just taking out their emotions and need somebody to blame and it came down to that last play, and, of course, I’m the easy target.”
NBA players regularly miss potential game-winning shots and move on with their lives, though it’s clear that some rabid fans aren’t able to adjust accordingly.
The visceral anger directed at Green and his fiancee is especially puzzling considering that the Lakers still only need to win one more game over the Miami Heat for the NBA title and have two more opportunities to accomplish that feat.
Of course, Green and the Lakers would prefer to clinch the title on Sunday night, which would no doubt let loose huge spasm of joy from all Lakers fans, including those whose anger is less than 48 hours old.