Why do Cavs’ fans hate Draymond Green so much? The short answer is because he says and does ridiculous things, and he can’t resist throwing shade at the Cavs. Some people will say that Cavs’ fans hate him so much because he plays for the team that their team has battled against for the last two NBA Championships, and he has been a catalyst and tough matchup in both series. He does the things that some of the other guys on their team can’t do, and that is a big reason for their success.
He doesn’t care about how many points he scores, and he’ll do the dirty work like rebounding and guarding the best player on the other team almost regardless of position. Green is dynamic and passionate, and those two things alone can cause opponents to despise him. However, the hatred from Cavs’ fans comes from a deeper place than just not liking him because he is a tough matchup and smiles while making things difficult for their team.
Let’s take a look at the controversial comments he made already this week. First, he said that Kelly Olynyk was a dirty player on the heels of a scuffle that happened between Olynyk and the Wizards’ Kelly Oubre in Game 3 of their series last week. Olynyk hit Oubre high up around his head while screening, and Oubre took offense and went after Olynyk. Oubre’s actions caused him to be suspended for Game 4 because he lost his cool and retaliated for what he thought was a dirty pick. Olynyk is also well known for being the guy who separated Kevin Love’s shoulder in an opening round series against the Cavs a few years ago while putting Love in an armlock during the chasedown of a rebound.
There have been many other times that players have gotten irritated with Olynyk for holding and grabbing them on screens and while competing for rebounds, but his teammates laugh it off and say he is harmless. They claim that he doesn’t have great fundamentals and has developed bad habits to help put himself in a better position. No matter which side Cavs’ fans come out on in the whole Olynyk situation (most think he’s dirty for injuring Love), they can all agree it’s ridiculous for Green to call him dirty. Green is well known for his anger issues, technical/flagrant fouls, and alleged cheap shots.
Last postseason alone he kicked Steven Adams in the groin a couple of times in the Western Conference Finals and hit LeBron in that area after a dust up in the NBA Finals. While I can see that LeBron was trying to irritate Green, that many shots to an opponent’s nuts can’t be a coincidence. He has had several other less-documented such plays, and the one against LeBron cost him a suspension for Game 5 of the NBA Finals. He has an excuse for every time something like that happens, but his technicals, flagrants, and suspensions speak for themselves. The last thing a fan base wants to see is a player they perceive as dirty come out and call out someone else for playing dirty. That makes Cavs’ fans hate Green even more.
After calling out Olynyk for being dirty, Green later followed up by saying that the East is too easy, and he wishes the Cavs would be challenged more on their way back to the NBA Finals. He said that their competition isn’t good enough, and they are not facing any competition on their way to defend their title. Yes, the Cavs swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs against teams that looked far inferior to them, but do we need to remind Green that his team swept through the first two rounds as well? Not that it’s a big difference, but the two teams the Warriors beat actually combined for one less regular season win than the Cavs opponents. I know there is a perception that the West is far superior to the East, but I would argue that outside of the conference finals, the Warriors will not face any tougher competition than the Cavs.
That’s the kind of thing that makes opponents’ fans (and especially ones with a lot at stake like the Cavs) upset and causes them to have a feeling of disdain for Green. Fans are likely to have a feeling of hatred for an opponent who causes matchup problems or smiles while putting forth incredible effort on every play (ask people about Matthew Dellavedova or Anderson Varajao), but the feelings towards Green go beyond that. Not only does he call other players dirty for things that could be considered more accidental or basketball-type plays, but he goes out of his way to discredit their team’s accomplishments. He just seems to have an arrogance about him where he thinks he knows everything, and everyone should care about what he thinks. Cavs fans will continue hating Green for years to come, but it would make a repeat championship that much more sweet if they could beat him for it.