Draymond Green on Kevin Durant Trade Rumors: 'Athletes Are Now Businessmen'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 7, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets warms up before Game Four of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on April 25, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Draymond Green sounded off on the narratives surrounding athletes requesting trades, specifically coming to the defense of former teammate Kevin Durant.

"If Kevin Durant says, 'I actually don't want to be here anymore. I want to go to somewhere else,' why does it matter? Why does that make you weak? ... Why does that mean he's running from something? I don't understand that," Green said on his podcast at the 1:20 mark.

"People can't accept the fact that athletes are now businessmen and no longer just playing basketball," he said around the four-minute mark. "At some point, people have to realize and be able to accept the fact athletes are businessmen and we make business moves and business decisions."

The Nets have been exploring a trade for Durant over the last week since the 12-time All-Star requested a move out of Brooklyn. The move comes less than a year after Durant signed a four-year extension with the franchise and highlights a falling out that took place during the 2021-22 season.

Much of the tension behind the scenes centers on Kyrie Irving, Durant's longtime friend who has likewise found himself in trade rumors. Logan Murdock of The Ringer reported on The Mismatch podcast Durant felt the Nets front office did not "grow to understand Kyrie" over the last three years, and he went radio silent with the team for weeks before the trade request.

Should Durant's trade request be granted—and it's overwhelmingly likely it will—he will be playing on his fourth NBA team and third in the last five seasons. While his desire to carve out his own lane after leaving the Golden State Warriors in free agency was admirable, this trade request is arguably an acknowledgment he made the wrong choice.

Green noted that it doesn't matter whether Durant made a mistake, saying people in regular jobs are rarely criticized for hopping from company to company in hopes of bettering their situation. He also pointed out that athletes have a finite amount of time to accomplish everything they want from their careers compared to other people.