As he is obviously all smiles upon viewing that his colleague, Klay Thompson, has finally returned to professional basketball, after two consecutive seasons of absence, Danny Green still lived hopefully of having an opportunity.
An opportunity to change what happened in the exact play wherein the shooting guard succumbed to its first setback way back in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Green told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports that he didn’t want the Golden State star to suffer from the harsh event, yet he boldly claims that the contest he made in the sequence was unintentional.
“If I can take that play back, I would,” Green said, via Haynes. “No one wants to see a great player go down, and no one wants to be the cause of that. It wasn’t intentional. I’m glad that he’s back. The game has missed him.”
The current Philadelphia 76ers swingman also narrated his harsh experiences of dealing with all the public backlash based on what happened to Thompson as well as finding out that the three-time champion had an ACL tear in the postgame.
“When it first happened, I thought I blocked the ball,” Green further told Yahoo Sports. “I thought it was a clean block and then he went down, I was like, ‘Man, he’s hurt. Let me make sure he’s OK.’ Some of the guys on the sidelines were upset. A lot of fans were upset. Obviously, I got a lot of backlash for it. But I’m trying to make a clean play on the ball, and I just wanted to make sure he was good. … And then he came back on the court to shoot his free throws, and that’s when I thought he was fine.
“I didn’t know that he tore anything until after the game, which was a tough blow. It was tough to hear what was being said, but I didn’t look at myself as the victim. My concern was for him. Their fans are great fans. They’re going to encourage their team. And anybody that tries to hurt or do anything to the other 10 or 13 players, they’re gonna fight for them. So, I got some heated emotions from some of the fans, but every time I’ve spoken about the incident, I’ve stated that it was not purposeful at all.”
Green and the Raptors went on to win the title, later on, giving the city of Toronto its first NBA championship in history. In the lengthy 941 days of break that Thompson had, the veteran also managed to claim a back-to-back reign as he was a critical part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ magical bubble run the following year.
As he saw Thompson showing signs of fearlessness, enthusiasm, and energy in the Warriors’ Sunday dub against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Green has nothing but love and respect at the end of the day for the phenom marksman.
“For him to get back, it took a lot of persistence, man. It took resilience. He’s a great player, so I never doubted that. He’s a true warrior, no pun intended. A lot of people, including myself and the fans, are excited that he’s back.
“We’ve all been looking forward to seeing Klay be the Klay that we have known him to be.”