Kevin Durant: I isolated myself after Warriors swept Draymond Green incident under rug




  • In Sports
  • 2020-02-14 02:30:16Z
  • By NBC Sports
 

You're a b-, and you know you're a b-. We don't need you. We won without you. Leave.

That's reportedly a paraphrase of what Draymond Green told Kevin Durant during a November 2018 in-game spat. Those sharp words loomed over the rest of the the Warriors' season and Durant's eventual exit from Golden State.

It's also worth remembering everything that surrounded the heated argument.

The Warriors and Clippers were tied in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Green beat Durant to a defensive rebound. As Durant clapped for the ball, Green dribbled up-court himself, fumbled the ball and didn't even get off a shot. Durant looked agitated. He and Green - mostly Green - jawed on the bench. As Durant took the court for overtime, he appeared to say, "That's why I'm out." Golden State lost in the extra period.

The Warriors suspended Green one game. Steve Kerr reportedly decided the punishment at the behest of his players, who found a fine insufficient. Durant reportedly challenged Green to better control his emotions. Durant said he and Green agreed to move on.

But after signing with the Nets, Durant said the incident contributed to him leaving Golden State.

Now, he's expanding on what wrong:

Durant on All The Smoke:

Green recruited Durant to Golden State. They definitely once appeared close.

But there were also other examples of Green pushing the limits with Durant. It's not totally shocking Green went over the line. He's an intense competitor with minimal filter.

Green is also such a smart player. For him to hold the ball with Durant on the floor was stunning. (That's why one interpretation of Durant saying "That's why I'm out" was he was saying that why he's out on the court.) It's underdiscussed the frame of mind that put Durant in even before hearing Green's jarring personal attack.

Durant reportedly discussed teaming up with Kyrie Irving years before they actually did. Durant looking toward New York was an open secret, even if people predicted the wrong team (Nets, not Knicks). It was Durant's right to change teams. But positioning himself to do so added tension within the Warriors.

I appreciate Durant acknowledging that he understands Golden State's desire to move on. He's willing to see another viewpoint.

For what it's worth, so was Green after the fact. Once Durant signed in Brooklyn, Green expressed remorse about harming his relationship with Durant.

But in the moment, emotions were more raw. If he wasn't already totally set on departing, this incident distanced Durant further from Golden State. It was a big deal.

In the aftermath of the incident, Durant tersely told a reporter to stop asking about his relationship with Green. Now, Durant calls it a "huge moment in this whole dynasty." Occasionally, the media correctly identifies which storylines warrant more attention - even when an involved player pretends otherwise.

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