Both Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have made the news. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been for highlights on the court, but for rather regrettable things they’ve said that they’d like to have back. This week, the former teammates finally cleared the air about an incident from their past.
The Golden State Warriors dynasty comes under threat from within
Entering the 2018-19 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors looked like they were on cloud nine. They were two-time defending champions and winners of three of the last four titles. Their grip on the Western Conference looked as firm as ever. Their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green was still in place and looked as dominant as ever.
The Warriors acquired Durant in free agency in 2016 in one of the most controversial signings in NBA history. The move paid off, as Durant helped guide Golden State to two more titles after losing the 2016 NBA Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the success, cracks formed in the Warriors’ foundation, as Green admitted on Showtime’s All the Smoke in April 2020.
“Y’all don’t know the s*** that we had to f***ing go through to win this championship. This is f**ing amazing that we were able to pull it off,” said Green. “It was all just everybody bumping heads all of a sudden.”
One area of concern was the status of their golden boy, Kevin Durant. Although he was under contract with the Warriors and he couldn’t resist the temptation to go for a three-peat, some of his teammates wondered if his heart was truly in Oakland.
“And I’m talking to [general manager] Bob Myers. I’m like, ‘yo, I don’t think Kevin’s coming back here,'” said Green.
Kevin Durant has one foot out the door and Draymond Green knows it
The friction between Durant and Draymond Green exploded for the whole world to see during a November game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
With five seconds left, the game was tied at 106, and Andre Iguodala (a former Warrior) missed a shot that would have given the Clippers the lead. Green and Durant both went for the rebound before Green took it up the court. Before he could get off a potential game-winning shot, he lost control of the ball and time ran out. Durant was furious, and an argument broke out.
The two former teammates finally had a heart-to-heart about the infamous encounter on Durant’s podcast The ETCs.
He’s like two or three chairs over from me. He slaps the chair right next to me, ‘I said give me the f***ing ball.’ That’s when I was like, ‘Yo, hey motherf***er I do this too. I was gonna give your a** the ball if you weren’t f***ing bitching. I do this too.’Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
Green also admitted that there were, per NBC Sports, “definitely some things I shouldn’t have said.” He didn’t go into detail about what those things were.
The Warriors lost that game in overtime, 121-116.
The Warriors dynasty crumbles thanks to a petty argument
The blow-up between Durant and Green may have been the first omen of what was to come for the Warriors dynasty. Despite the conflict, Golden State reached the NBA Finals that season, but lost in six games to the Toronto Raptors. That offseason, as feared, Kevin Durant packed his bags and took off for Brooklyn.
Months after he signed with the Nets, Durant admitted that his spat with Green did, indeed, play a part in his exit from the Warriors.
“I feel like that was a situation that definitely could have been avoided,” said Durant on First Take in October 2018. “It really came out of nowhere. For us, everybody was just looking for something to tear us down with, and I think they used that.”
The next season was a nightmare for Golden State. The Warriors’ hopes for another title run ended before they really began as they got off to a dreadful 4-16 start. Klay Thompson missed the entire season with a torn ACL, and Stephen Curry missed all but five games with a broken bone in his left hand. The Warriors finished a miserable 15-50, and were not invited to Walt Disney World when the season resumed.