Oct. 9 was a night to forget for Danny Green. While he led the Lakers in plus-minus (+12) and shot an efficient 40% from behind the 3-point line that night, he missed a wide-open 3-point attempt that would have sealed the championship for Los Angeles in dramatic fashion.
Ultimately, all Green’s miss cost the Lakers was a few extra nights in Orlando, as they’d go on to beat the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. But even if his miss ended up having more dire consequences, he wouldn’t have apologized to the thousands of Lakers fans he upset, as he explained on The Ringer NBA Show:
“You know human nature of fans, they’re just very emotional. They take the game very serious and they see us as performers and if we’re not performing the way we’re supposed to then we’re supposed to apologize for it. No, I don’t owe you an apology. Whether I played shitty or not. You’re not my boss, coach, and I’m not gonna apologize for missing shots. I’ll apologize to my teammates for missed mistakes, missed assignments, if I mess up a play or defensively don’t make a rotation. But no, I don’t owe you anything.”
This quote, coupled with his often frustrating play, might not make him the most popular player among Lakers fans, but he’s right — he technically doesn’t owe anyone anything.
Perhaps fans would have the right to feel differently if Green didn’t have a reputation for being a reliable 3-point shooter and attempted a game-deciding shot like that, but that obviously wasn’t the case. Even after his underwhelming first season in Los Angeles, Green is a career 40% 3-point shooter, and you want a player like that taking that shot every time. It would have been more maddening if he didn’t take that shot.
I’m sure Lakers fans would have appreciated an apology, or something resembling one, after Game 5, but no one was entitled to one. And after Green’s comments about fans hating on him not deserving to go to the Lakers’ eventual championship parade and the way some fans sent him and his fiancee death threats after his Game 5 miss, no one should have been expecting him to feel apologetic for missing that shot. After all, it’s not like he didn’t want to make it.
Besides, who needs an apology when you have a championship to celebrate? That’s what we all should be focused on, not missed shots that ultimately didn’t matter.