Kevin Durant: Draymond Green Relationship 'Pretty Perfect' Before Altercation

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 25, 2020

Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) pats Draymond Green (23) on the chest after a turnover during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The dynamic between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green is probably best remembered for the altercation during and after a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November 2018, but things weren't always testy between the two. 

Appearing on The Corp podcast (starts at 16:10 mark) with Alex Rodriguez and Big Cat from Barstool Sports, Durant said his relationship with Green was "pretty perfect" before that game. 

After Green grabbed a rebound with the score tied and five seconds remaining in regulation, Durant was calling for the ball. Green decided to bring it up the court, but Clippers defenders knocked it out of his hands before he could get a shot off. 

On the Warriors bench before the start of overtime, Green and Durant could be seen exchanging words. At one point, Durant said he's "trying to win a basketball game" to Andre Iguodala

The Warriors later announced Green had been suspended one game without pay for conduct detrimental to the team for a heated verbal exchange with Durant during and after the team's 121-116 loss to the Clippers. 

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported one of the things Green told Durant was about his pending free agency: "We don't need you. We won without you. Leave."

When Durant signed with the Warriors in July 2016, Green went on Conan (h/t Dan Feldman of NBC Sports) to say that he personally recruited the 10-time All-Star to join the organization:

"I recruited KD really really hard. And it was like the equivalent of a college coach trying to get a top-five recruit—although I would’ve broke every NCAA rule there was, because I called him a million times. I text him a million and one times. And I tried to show up wherever he was every chance I got.

"When I found out he was coming, I came back to my senses, and I said, “I wonder if he respects me as a man now, the way I just blew his phone up.” He had to have a girlfriend who got on his nerves worse than that before. So, I questioned myself."

Durant's time in Golden State came to an end when he ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. The two-time NBA Finals MVP missed the previous nine playoff games with a strained right calf. 

The Brooklyn Nets signed Durant to a four-year contract in July 2019. He didn't appear in a game this season as he continued to rehab from surgery on his Achilles.