It is hard to imagine what a man feels when he scores his first NBA basket. After years of hard work, effort, and luck, the player has followed through on one of his dreams and accomplished something truly meaningful. His name will appear in the record book forever as an NBA scorer, someone who managed to put the ball in the basket against the best in the world. It stands to reason that a player might let his emotions run wild in the moments after his first basket.
That's exactly what happened to Golden State Warriors rookie forward Draymond Green in the second quarter of Wednesday night's home game against the Atlanta Hawks. With 8:30 remaining in the half, Green took a pass from Jarrett Jack at the top of the arc and knocked down an open 3-pointer. It was a big shot for Green, an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year at Michigan State. After 37 minutes in seven games, he had only a single point to his name after splitting a pair of free throws and missing his first nine field-goal attempts.
So, naturally, Green shouted a little bit as he backpedaled to the other end of the court. As is their right, the officials hit him with a technical foul for taunting. While we don't know exactly what Green said, the call seemed a little excessive given the circumstances. Maybe they just didn't know. It's almost like the basketball gods were sending the rookie a message: Just when it seems like things are going well, the game will serve up a lesson in humility.
On the bright side, Green made another shot to finish with five points on 2-of-3 shooting. Coincidentally, the Warriors won the game 92-88, which means Green's scoring contribution was technically the difference between a win and a loss. Plus, he now has a really great story to tell his grandkids.