HOUSTON -- Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green believes fans cross the line "often" when dealing with players, and he doesn't think it will get better as long as the NBA continues to fine players for verbally defending themselves.
Green's comments came in the wake of an incident during Monday's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz in which Thunder guard Russell Westbrook and a fan exchanged words. Westbrook was fined $25,000 for directing profanity toward the fan, who was banned for life from Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.
When asked how frequently fans cross the line of proper conduct, Green was quick with an answer.
"Often," Green said after Friday's practice. "A lot. It's crazy. I guess it's just the nature of what we do, I guess. I don't really understand why grown men get off by coming into someone else's job and saying bulls---. I guess that's their way of letting out frustration in their life, but it's kind of stupid to me."
Green, now in his seventh NBA season, believes fans' treatment of players has gotten worse over time.
"Because our penalties get worse," Green said. "So if I'm like someone who's probably not as happy with my life and I've got an opportunity, where I'm going to someone else's place of employment and I know if I say something crazy to them and they say something back they lose money, misery loves company. So I think our penalties are raised and blasted to the world, people will keep doing that. Because at the end of the day, what do they really lose? But our families lose money out of our [pockets] that we provide. I think as long as that happens, [fans] will continue to do it. It is what is, I guess."
Green's comments come on the same day the Deseret News reported that the Jazz banned a second fan for comments made toward Westbrook last year. Green reiterated that he doesn't think anything will change as long as the league continues fining players like Westbrook for defending themselves.
"Like I said, I think as long as the league continues to fine players for saying something back when there are people completely disrespecting [them], it will always happen," Green said.