Danny Green has had a rough go at it in the Orlando bubble. Since the Los Angeles Lakers resumed play in July, Green has shot 37.3% from the field, including 29.6% from 3-point range.
Naturally, Green’s lackluster shooting has drawn criticism from fans on social media, especially because 3-point shooting is supposed to be his specialty. Last season, Green shot 45.5% from behind the arc while attempting 5.4 3-pointers per game and for his career, he’s converted 40% of his 3-point attempts.
Green talked about how he’s dealt with the often harsh criticism from Lakers fans in the most recent episode of his podcast “Inside The Green Room”:
“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 shit.
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 said he’s used all of the criticism as motivation, and it’s showed in the postseason. While Green is still shooting below his playoff career average, he shot a respectable 34.6% from behind the arc in the first round, a 9.6% increase from what he shot in the seeding games.
Green’s most recent outings in conjunction with his lengthy playoff resume is enough for Lakers fans to be optimistic that he’ll figure it out eventually. If he does, though, he doesn’t want to his doubters turn into believers — in fact, he doesn’t even want to see them at the championship parade:
“Shout out to the real fans that stuck with us when we were down 0-1. 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 shit, 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.”
That might sound a little harsh from Green, but in his defense, Lakers fans have been just as harsh. Hopefully by the the time Lakers fans are able to celebrate the team, all will be forgiven from both sides. Otherwise, it’s going to be an awkward championship celebration, virtual or otherwise.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.