One win away from winning the franchise’s 17th championship and seemingly in full control of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers switched to their Black Mamba City Edition jersey for Game 5. They had yet to lose in Kobe Bryant’s design during the playoffs and wanted to further honor his memory by donning them for a hopeful championship celebration.
The Miami Heat had other plans however, drawing added motivation from the Lakers’ change, and forcing the Finals to a Game 6. The slugfest saw both teams poised to earn a win at various stretches, including when LeBron James drove and found Danny Green for a go-ahead 3-pointer.
While Green’s miss was a factor in the Lakers losing Game 5, it was not the sole reason for their defeat, though it has been painted as such across social media. Fans have additionally crossed the line by making vile threats against Green and his fiancée.
“I just block, ignore. I’ve gotten so many messages, I can’t even hit the delete all button. I just don’t read them,” Green said. “She doesn’t get as many and she doesn’t have as many followers, so she can probably see more of it.
“I had to ask her, ‘Are you getting death threats?’ She said, ‘Yeah, and you are too.’ I don’t know, because I don’t really pay attention or care. Nor am I shaken or worried about it. I’m just not one of those types of people. I probably should be a little more paranoid or more safe about things. I am safe usually in most scenarios.
“I’m just not one of those guys that’s going to live my life worried about what other people say or think. I’m usually protected, I’m usually safe, OK, confident and secure in my own mind and home. If something does come up, I’m sure she’ll find it or we’ll see it. It’s a basketball game. Fans are emotional.
“I hope they don’t take it that seriously. I hope they are that passionate about voting or getting justice for people who deserve justice or to get change in our country.”
Green’s confidence not shaken
Along with not being bothered by criticism from fans, Green is hardly dwelling on his miss. “It was a good look. I had more time than I realized, could have took more time, probably rushed it a little bit, a little off balance. But we got a good look, we got a second opportunity. I would give anything to get that shot back again, trust me,” he said.
“You’re going to make some, you’re going to miss some. It’s part of the game. I’ve been in that situation plenty of times; I’ve made some, I’ve missed some. Unfortunate for us it was to close out the series.
“Like I said, it’s a good look. I’ll take that look any other day. Obviously you grow more with mistakes and losses. I looked at it plenty of times, got a chance to see it, and it was a good look. Taking my time next time I get the same opportunity. I have a lot of confidence in our group and myself.”
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