NBA

Draymond Green Recently Paid Kevin Durant a Surprisingly Sweet Compliment

Time might wind up being kind to former Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

When they played together in California, Green and Durant had their issues. They were two outspoken, alpha-type characters on a Warriors team with five to six players who could have been the Robin to Stephen Curry’s Batman.

If Green’s recent comments about Durant — who is now with the Brooklyn Nets — are anything to go off, though, the two may have a chance at rebuilding their relationship.

Draymond Green had kind words for Kevin Durant

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Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had a long-awaited reunion on February 13.

Durant and the Brooklyn Nets traveled to California for a showdown with the Golden State Warriors. Green missed the Warriors’ loss to Brooklyn in December.

Green and Durant embraced before the Nets’ 134-117 blowout victory. Durant scored 20 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished six assists in his first game against the Warriors since he left the team.

According to USA Today, Green took the high road when asked to reflect on his time playing with Durant.

“Just how no one in the world can stop him. And even after playing tonight, I still don’t think anyone in the world can stop him.”

Considering their past issues, Green giving Durant that type of compliment was surprisingly sweet. We’ll see if Green takes a similar stance if Golden State and Brooklyn play one another in the 2021 NBA Finals.

Green and Durant played together on the Warriors

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When Kevin Durant signed with the Warriors in the summer of 2016, he joined a loaded team that already had Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, among others.

Durant averaged 25.8 points, 7.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks in 208 games across three seasons with the Warriors. In 48 playoff outings with the Warriors, Durant averaged 29.6 points on 51.4% shooting with 7.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.2 blocks a night.

Durant also won NBA Finals MVP in June 2017 and 2018.

Green made two All-Star teams in those three years, contributing 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.6 steals, and 1.3 blocks per night. The versatile Green won Defensive Player of the Year following the 2016-17 season and appeared on the All-Defensive Team in all three campaigns.

Green and Durant had some issues along the way

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The good news for the Warriors is that they won two championships in Kevin Durant’s three years there.

But those seasons were far from perfect, on the court and in the locker room. Draymond Green often feuded with Durant and head coach Steve Kerr — and sometimes at the same time.

Durant and Green’s relationship came to a head in November 2018. Green didn’t pass to Durant for what could have been a game-winning shot.

According to Business Insider, Green cursed at Durant and said the Warriors didn’t need him. Green also allegedly said that Durant already planned to leave the Warriors in free agency.

Golden State suspended Green for one game. In a 2019 interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Green explained why he refused to immediately apologize to Durant.

“First off, you need to let time do its job. And when the time is right, I’ll feel that and it’ll be genuine. But what I wasn’t going to do is I wasn’t going to go to Kevin and say I’m sorry because everybody wanted me to. No, it’s going to genuinely happen, and when it genuinely happened, everything will correct itself. But if we force it, it won’t correct itself.”

Durant and Green eventually made up following the incident. Golden State reached the NBA Finals but lost in six games to Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.

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