BOSTON — Celtics fans welcomed Kevin Durant with a hearty chorus of boos Friday night at TD Garden, which was to be expected. But that doesn’t mean everyone is on board with the reception he got.
Friday marked Durant’s first trip to Boston since he chose the Golden State Warriors over the Celtics (and several other teams) in free agency over the summer. Naturally, many C’s fans still are bitter over Durant’s decision, and they let him hear it by booing him during player introductions and whenever he touched the ball in the first quarter.
But after the Warriors dismantled Boston 104-88 — thanks to Durant’s 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists — forward Draymond Green stood up for his teammate, calling out Celtics fans for booing a guy who simply made a business decision this offseason.
“Fans must be desperate,” Green said. “Like, booing a guy for taking an interview? That’s crazy. I don’t get that. Y’all boo somebody for interviewing y’all? They may scare free agents away. You don’t want to take no interview and then make enemies (with a guy) for taking the interview. I don’t know. They may want to be careful with that.”
Green didn’t stop there.
“If you’re that mad at what somebody else did with your life, you need to evaluate your own life,” he added. “Like, (Durant) made a personal decision for his life, for his happiness, for his career. And if people are that mad, they need to re-evaluate where they’re headed in life. Because I don’t know if I can stay that mad at somebody for deciding to do something with their life. That’s a slippery slope.”
Celtics fans may disagree with Green: Passionate fanbases often boo opposing players, and that’s usually a sign of a well-engaged crowd. But he does have a point for those who are legitimately mad at Durant, as the All-Star was under no obligation to sign with the Celtics or any other team — hence the term “free agent.”
Durant said he didn’t care about the crowd’s negative reaction, and his 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting certainly reflected that. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, meanwhile, had a much simpler explanation for why Celtics fans booed Durant:
“It’s just the beer talking.”
Thumbnail photo via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports Images