BOSTON (CBS) — Kelly Olynyk has been called a lot of things over the last few days.
The Wizards are not a big fan of the Celtics’ 7-footer, after forward Kelly Oubre took exception to a hard screen by Olynyk in Game 3. He charged at Olynyk after the play, earning himself a suspension for Game 4.
That play has drawn out Olynyk critics near and far, and he was even called a “dirty player” by Golden State’s Draymond Green, who has a PhD in crossing that proverbial line on an NBA court.
But Olynyk is paying no attention to these claims of dirty play. He’s blocking out all the name-calling as best he can, and said he won’t change the way he plays. All that matters right now is being prepared for Wednesday night’s Game 5 against the Wizards.
“That’s ridiculous,” he said of being labeled a dirty player. “I know what I am, what I do and what I stand for. My teammates know, and that’s all that matters.”
“I don’t agree with that assessment,” said C’s head coach Brad Stevens. “I’ve been asked about it a couple of days in a row now. I’ve been here for four years with him, watched him play, and I think he’s playing at a really good level right now. I just want him to focus on that.”
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion,” added Olynyk. “But right now, we have a big game tomorrow against a good team and that’s what we’re focused on.”
Isaiah Thomas seemed to be irritated that Green would lob any “dirty” allegations at another player, given his past indiscretions on the court.
“It’s a joke that he said that,” said Thomas. “I don’t know how he can call anybody dirty. But it is what it is. Everybody’s got a comment or something to say about others, I guess.
“Kelly’s one of the dirtiest players I know,” Thomas said with a laugh. “No, he’s not. Nowhere near dirty. There’s just been a couple of occasions, wrong time, wrong place. I mean, things happen in basketball, especially in physical playoff basketball. But he’s definitely not dirty.”
The league reviewed Olynyk’s screen from Game 3 and no further action was taken, other than the common foul he was assessed during the game. Most of his critics, like Green, pointed to a play from two postseasons ago when Olynyk yanked Kevin Love’s arm out of his socket, ending the playoffs for the Cleveland forward. Olynyk was suspended for one game the following season for that play, but said on Tuesday that physicality is part of the game.
“Physicality is something that comes with the game of basketball and you just have to come out and play your game,” he said. “You cant worry about the refs or anything else, just go out there and take it.”