Danny Green is widely-regarded as a great teammate, seems to be a winner wherever he goes, and is usually a fan-favorite among the players in whichever city he resides.
Green – arguably the Philadelphia 76ers biggest unrestricted free agent this summer – appeared on the newest episode of the Takeoff with John Clark podcast and talked about, among other things, teammate Ben Simmons. During the discussion about the enigmatic point guard, Green was asked about Philly fans, and his response may ruffle some feathers.
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“Do you think the crowd, and Philly, can have an effect on someone like Ben in those moments?” Clark asked.
“For sure. It has an effect on everybody, and I think that’s something that needs to change in the city. I love our fans, but when things aren’t going well, they can’t turn on you,” Green said. “That’s the one thing I would disagree with or dislike. Some guys use it as motivation, some guys have a chip on their shoulder, but I think that needs to change. They need to be riding with us, regardless of how things are going.”
Green Should be the top Priority in Free Agency
It doesn’t sound great when Green says that “something needs to change in the city”, but given his reputation as a 12-year pro, and the fact that he immediately follows with “I love our fans” should ease some of the negative feedback that is sure to come.
“We’re the No. 1 team in the East, still playing well, and in some games they’ll boo us – that’s part of the culture here, part of their way of showing they love us – but with a guy like Ben, and other guys, I think they need to stick behind them and stick by them as long as they can, until the horn blows,” Green said. “And even then, he’s here. He’s given so much to the organization and the city, on and off the court, that he deserves that respect and that support.”
Green adds that he hopes things turn out well for the much-bashed Simmons and the city, and that despite how things ended in the playoffs, it was still great to have fans back in the building after a long layoff.
Would the Sixers Have Advanced in the Playoffs if They Had Green?
It’s now been 18 days since the Sixers lost Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at home to the Atlanta Hawks, and even longer since the massive 26-point choke job in Game Five that led to the start of some brief calls for the firing of head coach Doc Rivers. If Green hadn’t suffered a series-ending calf injury in Game Three, would things have turned out differently?
Obviously, it’s impossible to say whether or not having Green would have changed things and led to a Sixers series win, but despite some struggles from the veteran over portions of the eight playoff games he did play in this spring, his presence could have only helped.
“We had a golden opportunity this year, and there will be plenty for years to come with the guys you have here. But just enjoy it, love them,” Green told Clark. “I love our fans, but I try to throw things out there to let them know, ‘Protect us, encourage us, stand by us like we stand by you, regardless of wins and losses.’ We are humans and people, too. We’re not zoo animals where you can throw things or be on our side when it’s convenient. I love the city of Philly, and I love the fans. It’s been quite an experience for me for the one year I’ve been here.”