Draymond Green apparently wasn't ready for the vitriol he received at TD Garden last June, but insists it will be different this time around.
The Golden State Warriors forward has claimed Boston Celtics fans directed profane language and racial slurs at him during the 2022 NBA Finals. Prior to Thursday's Warriors-Celtics game at TD Garden -- Golden State's first trip to Boston since winning the Finals in Game 6 -- Green admitted he was unprepared for the crowd's reaction to him last summer.
"You usually have situations where people talk crazy, but not the entire arena," Green told ESPN's Kendra Andrews. "You'll have a situation where an entire arena will boo you, but not what the Boston fans were doing. So, it was just a different situation than I had ever seen. It took a while to adjust to it ... it was just so unexpected. It caught me off guard."
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Green is one of the NBA's premier instigators and Boston boasts one of the league's most passionate home crowds (according to Green himself), so Green probably should have seen those jeers coming. The 11-year veteran said he had "never seen" that kind of reaction from a crowd before, however.
"I guess with this, there was no real way to prepare for it. Except mentally know what you're walking into," Green said. "When that happens I can tune it out. But that first time I couldn't tune it out."
Green should expect another hostile reaction from Boston fans on Thursday, especially after he trolled the Celtics with an altered "Banner 18" shirt and mocked Jaylen Brown over his "energy shift" tweet shortly after Golden State's Finals victory. The 32-year-old says he'll come prepared for the fans this time, though.
"I'll greet them with a nice smile," Green added. "Just as I did after we won the championship."
The Celtics will be out for revenge Thursday after the Warriors beat them by double digits in Golden State on Dec. 10. Boston has won seven in a row entering the matchup, while the Warriors have lost three straight and are just 5-17 on the road this season.