Sportress of Blogitude

Draymond Green: Kyle Lowry incident shows players are ‘vulnerable’

Draymond Green believes the incident involving Kyle Lowry and a part-owner of the Golden State Warriors during Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Finals illustrates how NBA players are “vulnerable” in exchanges with fans.

The fan involved in the incident with the Toronto Raptors star was identified as Mark Stevens, a venture capitalist who joined Golden State Warriors ownership in 2013.

The altercation occurred after Lowry leapt into the stands in an effort to save the ball from going out of bounds. The fan shoved Lowry after the play and was later escorted out of Oracle Arena.

Stevens was ultimately fined $500,000 by the NBA and banned from attending games for one year. The Warriors organization, head coach Steve Kerr and Stevens himself ultimately apologized to Lowry and the Raptors for the incident.

In the wake of the ugly situation, Green — who without question is in an awkward spot given Stevens’ affiliation with the Warriors — made the point that the confrontation showcases how players are exposed to risk due to the close proximity of fans to the court.

“I think players are definitely vulnerable. Any time you’re in a situation where you can do no right, like in defending yourself, you’re vulnerable,” Geen said, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “So if a fan says whatever they want to you and then you say something back, you’re fined. If Kyle was to then hit back, a lot more than a fine would have then happened to Kyle.

“In a situation where you’re essentially helpless, you’re always going to be vulnerable in anything in life. So it’s not just on the basketball court. In any situation you can’t help yourself, you’re vulnerable. So I think as players we definitely are.”

Green joined the growing chorus of players, including the likes of Lowry, as well as LeBron James, who have used Wednesday’s incident to highlight how the NBA ought to better explore the issue, though how to do prevent such situations is obviously complex. Yet, it’s not the first time players have weighed in on the risky spots players are sometimes put in during interactions with unruly fans.