MILWAUKEE -- Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green says a fan threatened his life during the team's 128-111 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night.
In the middle of the third quarter, Green engaged in a back-and-forth with a fan sitting in the baseline section while Giannis Antetokounmpo was shooting free throws. A short time later, Green discussed the incident with the referees, who contacted Fiserv Forum security. The fan was then escorted out of the arena.
"[They said] some threatening stuff to my life," Green said. "I was this close to really going back and diving all the way in, but I just went back and told the official. And when I told the official what he said, he was like 'Oh, he's gotta get out of here.' And he got out of here."
Barry Baum, the Bucks' chief communications officer, issued a brief statement saying the decision to eject the fan was "under the referee's discretion." The Bucks are "investigating the situation and conferring with the NBA."
Draymond had this fan ejected from the Bucks-Warriors game 👀 pic.twitter.com/hCN5pO7USH— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 14, 2022
Green said the league is well aware of the fan behavior dilemma, but can only do so much to control what people are going to say. His main frustration is that players are punished for their genuine reactions.
"We're human beings," Green said. "That's the part I get frustrated with. I know it's not an issue that the league ignores. I don't think that's the case. I know they spend a ton of time on it. Quite frankly, people are gonna be people, they're gonna say the things they want to say. You can put them out, and that's great."
Green added that the league should work with legislators to implement stronger penalities for fans who cross the line. "You'd hope that certain things can get to a point to where laws can be implemented," he said. "These are lives that -- we're talking about threatening someone's life.
"It's no different than when you see people come on the field and run on the court. People are just doing it for attention because there's no real consequence. Alright, you can't go back to the game, but even if you get arrested, nothing really happens. You may have a $500 bond or something, but nothing really happens. You hope it gets to a point to where these leagues can work with legislators to implement laws, because that's the only thing that's gonna ultimately correct the issue is if you know something real is gonna happen to you."
Steph Curry, who finished with just 20 points on 6-of-17 from the field in one of his worst outings of the season, complimented Green's "composure' in dealing with the situation and said there should be an "inherent" respect factor from everyone entering the arena to watch games.
"I don't know what can be done in terms of consequences," Curry said. "There needs to be a collective response to what that looks like. I'm glad Draymond handled it the right way tonight, not taking it upon himself to go protect himself. One time that situation could go a totally different way. Shout out to Draymond for handling it the right way."
Antetokounmpo, who was at the line when the incident ocurred, said he could hear Green having a conversation with someone but was focused on shooting his free throws rather than figuring out what exactly was being said. He praised everyone involved for handling it professionally.
"We have the power and position to go to the referee and say that's guy is bothering me, he's talking bad about me or whatever the case may be," Antetokounmpo said. "I think the way it is set up is good. It protects the players, it protects us."