OAKLAND — After Monday’s death-threat tweet directed at forward Draymond Green from a self-styled comedian in New Orleans, the Golden State Warriors are allocating extra security for their polarizing star.
“Our security people will be on it,” said head coach Steve Kerr. “I think we all know, the guy came out and said ‘I was just kidding, I apologize,’ so I don’t think there’s any threat, but our security people are all over it, and everything that happens like this.”
During Sunday’s Game 3 of the NBA Western Conference Semifinals against the New Orleans Pelicans, Ruston, La.-born stand-up comedian Andrew Polk tweeted that he hoped Green “gets shot in the face as soon as he leaves the arena,” as Green scored eight points, pulled down nine rebounds and recorded nine assists at Smoothie King Center.
Polk deleted the tweet and deactivated his account, re-activating it only to apologize to Green. Green responded afterwards by saying he hoped Polk “gets the help he needs.”
“There’s plenty of stuff that happens behind the scenes that nobody ever finds out about,” Kerr said.
Kerr, himself, faced a death threat while he was the general manager of the Phoenix Suns, and had traded Shawn Marion for Shaquille O’Neal. The day after making a trade, an angry fan had contacted the Suns offices threatening Kerr’s life.
The next day, Kerr got a call from the FBI.
“Somebody basically called the office and said they were going to shoot me,” Kerr said. “Deep down, you know it’s a hoax, but there’s also part of you that’s like, ‘Are you kidding me? We’re talking about a game.’ It’s very disconcerting, but I guess it’s inevitable in the age that we live in.”
Kerr cited the rise of social media as a reason that bad thoughts that, in the past, had no avenue for expression, find their way into the open.
“People now tell jokes that they would normally only think about in their head,” Kerr said. “We all think really stupid thoughts, but the way we live now, we immediately express those thoughts and put those thoughts out into the world for everybody to see.”
Kerr admitted that, as a young man growing up in Pacific Palisades, Calif., he, too, took issue with a provocative opponent of his Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I’m sure when I was a young Dodger fan, and Reggie Jackson stuck his hip out into the double play ball, sent it into right field in 1978, I was so mad at Reggie Jackson that I may have thought — to myself — ‘I hope Reggie dies,'” Kerr said. “I might have. I might have thought that. I didn’t tweet it.”