Kelly Olynyk can’t believe he’s being labeled a dirty player.
A day after Draymond Green’s podcast Dray Day hit the internet – an episode in which Draymond called Olynyk a dirty player and said he had no respect for him – Olynyk’s Boston Celtics teammates threw a troposphere of shade on the Warriors’ leader.
“I don’t know how he can call anybody dirty,” Isaiah Thomas told reporters at practice Tuesday. “But it is what it is. Everybody’s got a comment or something to say about others, I guess.”
“It’s a joke that he said that,” Thomas then said.
Thomas even tried to make some jokes himself.
“Kelly’s one of the dirtiest players I know,” Thomas said sarcastically. “No, he’s nowhere near dirty. It’s just a couple of occasions: wrong time, wrong place. Things happen in basketball, especially physical playoff basketball. But he’s definitely not dirty.”
When asked what he thought of the accusation, Olynyk spoke his mind for a change.
“That’s ridiculous. I know who I am. I know what I do,” Olynyk said. “My teammates know and that’s all that matters.”
Kelly has been in some scraps throughout the playoffs, but nothing significant until he caught Wizards forward Kelly Oubre in the head on a screen that sent Oubre crashing to the floor. Oubre in a fit of rage charged at Olynyk, despite ref Monty McCutchen’s attempt to stay between them, and shoved him. Olynyk went down a little easy and Oubre ended up ejected from Game 3 and suspended from Game 4.
Olynyk himself was aghast by Draymond’s comments, but the quiet and humble giant is relishing the chance to be the villain.
“If 20,000 people want to focus their energy on me, that’s pretty fun,” Olynyk said of the shower of boos rained upon the headband hauncho in Game 4 in Washington.
The talk over whether Olynyk is a dirty player has been rampant league-wide since. He first earned the reputation when he pulled on Kevin Love’s arm in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, dislocating it and ending Love’s season. Kelly is known for arm pulling, going down easy on contact and a few other little tricks, but nothing out of the ordinary for many bigs.
Avery Bradley supported his teammate and snuck in a shot at Draymond, who is almost as famous for his work with nutshots as his work on defense.
“Everyone has their own opinion, but I don’t agree (with) it,” Bradley said. “I think Kelly is far from a dirty guy. I’m pretty sure some guys might have their opinion of Draymond, some of the plays that he’s made in the past. But I don’t care.”
While Olynyk may look forward to getting a chance to face off against Green in the finals, he’ll have to help his team win Game 5 Wednesday and Game 6 Friday. Then somehow hand the Cavs their first loss of the postseason, with three more on top of that.
Then he might get to see Draymond, who laughed at the Celtics complaints Tuesday.
Just get through that series bro....— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 9, 2017