MILWAUKEE — Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green said a fan threatened his life when the team lost 128-111 to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
In the middle of the third quarter, Green went back and forth with a fan sitting on the floor as Giannis Antetokounmpo left the game. free throws. A short time later, Green discussed the incident with referees, who contacted Fiserv Forum security. The fan was then removed from the arena.
“[They said] Some things threatened my life,” said Green. When I told the official what he said, he said, ‘Oh, he has to get out of here.’ And he ran away.”
Barry Baum, the Bucks chief communications officer, issued a brief statement stating that the decision to remove the fan from the game was “at the referee’s discretion”. The Bucks are “investigating the situation and discussing with the NBA.”
Green said the league is well aware of the fan behavior dilemma but can only do so much to control what people say. The main disappointment is that players are penalized for their genuine reactions.
“We’re human,” said Green. “That’s the part where I get pissed off. I know it’s not something the league is ignoring. I don’t think that’s the case. I know they’ve spent a ton of time on this. Frankly, people will be people, they’re going to say what they want to say. You can put them out and that’s great.”
Green added that the league needs to work with legislators to impose stronger penalties for fans who cross the line. “You hope things get to a point where the law can be enforced,” he said. “These are — we’re talking about threatening someone’s life.
“It’s no different than seeing people come on the field and run around the court. People do it just for attention because there’s no real result. Okay, you can’t go back to the game but even if you get arrested, nothing really happens. You can have a $500 bond but nothing really happens. You hope he gets to a point where he can work with legislators to enforce the law, because that’s the only thing that will ultimately fix the problem. If you know something real will happen to you.”
Steph Curry, who finished one of the worst starts of the season with just 20 points from the court at 6 on 17, praised Green’s “compassion” in handling the situation and said it had to be a “natural” factor of respect. Everyone enters the arena to watch the match.
“I don’t know what can be done in terms of results,” Curry said. “There needs to be a collective response to what this looks like. I’m glad Draymond handled it the right way tonight and didn’t take on the role of self-defense. For once this situation could go in a completely different direction. Because Draymond handled it the right way.”
Antetokounmpo, who was on the line when the incident occurred, said he heard Green talking to someone but focused on shooting his free throws rather than understanding exactly what was being said. He commended everyone involved for handling the case professionally.
“We have the power and position to go to the referee and say that this man is harassing me, talking badly about me, or whatever the situation is,” Antetokounmpo said. “I think the way it’s set up is good. It protects the players, it protects us.”