Kevin Durant Says Draymond Green Altercation Played a Role in Leaving Warriors

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 24: Draymond Green #23 and Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors look on against the LA Clippers during Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant said on ESPN's First Take on Thursday that his November 2018 sideline confrontation with then-teammate Draymond Green played a role in his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors in free agency this past offseason.

"A little bit, yeah, for sure," Durant responded when asked if the incident factored into his decision to sign elsewhere.

He went on to further explain the matter: "I mean, your teammate talk to you that way, you think about it a bit. But you know, like I said, we talked about it. But definitely. For sure. I'm not going to lie about it."

That incident occurred 14 games into the 2018-19 season, when cameras spotted Green and Durant exchange words on the sideline as the Nov. 12 contest against the Los Angeles Clippers made its way into overtime:

Green reportedly questioned Durant's commitment to the team, bringing up the two-time Finals MVP's impending free agency. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported Green also called Durant a "b---h" during the dispute.

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The team suspended Green one game for his role in the incident. He later apologized to Durant.

Prior to the incident, the Warriors had gotten off to an 11-2 start. They subsequently lost five of six games (including that game in L.A.) following the confrontation, though injuries also played a role.

Golden State was able to work through its issues and find a way to play winning basketball. The Warriors reached their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. They ultimately fell short of their fourth title in five years, as they lost to the Toronto Raptors as Durant (Achilles) and Klay Thompson (ACL) dealt with injuries.

Green addressed the verbal exchange with ESPN's Rachel Nichols in May (around the 10:40 mark):

Green touched on the subject earlier this month on The Woj Podcast, saying he realized he had to apologize to Durant only when he realized how "hurt" his teammate was:

When Haynes approached the subject with Durant in August following his free-agent decision, the Nets star did not dive deep into the situation, saying he was "tired of talking about that s--t."