Draymond Green has a knack for getting mixed up in public beefs even when they have literally nothing to do with him. And at the risk of blatantly editorializing, it’s kinda great.
The Golden State Warriors forward found himself caught in the social media crossfire of a war of words between Jae Crowder, of the Phoenix Suns, and Phil Handy, an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the online carfuffle didn’t begin there either.
It all started with an Instagram post by Cuffs the Legend, a personal friend of LeBron James and a self-proclaimed NBA insider. The post is a photo of Crowder doing a salsa dance at the end the Suns’ first-round playoff defeat of the Lakers, a move meant to mock James, as the former Cleveland Cavalier teammates have a history of displaying public disdain for one another.
“I didn’t wanna do this because I was rooting hard for Phoenix,” the post’s caption reads. “But it’s not wise to pop champagne after a 1st round victory #JigHovering.”
NBA Beef That Requires Background Instructional Manual
Crowder was ejected for the salsa dance in the final seconds of the Suns’ Game 6 victory over the Lakers, which knocked the defending champions out of the playoffs and ended their bid for a repeat title. James had recently done a commercial for Mountain Dew, during which he salsa danced.
The move was purported revenge for the Lakers’ mocking of Crowder in Game 3 of that same series, when Andre Drummond mimicked James from the bench as he was backing down Crowder during a Los Angeles victory that gave the Lakers a 2-1 lead.
“I don’t know if y’all remember Game 3. They did a lot on the sideline during Game 3 and that ruffled a lot of feathers on our side. That gave us an extra spark and some motivation. That’s all it was,” Crowder said said during a July 14 appearance on ESPN’s The Jump. “Those last 30 seconds when those guys were done, we were chasing that feeling. Once we got it, you saw the rest of it — the salsa dancing and the trash talking. But we waited until the last 30 seconds of defeat to let our trash-talking do the talking. That’s what you saw.”