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Kevin Durant: I Was More Locked into Warriors After Draymond Green Altercation

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2020

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) reacts with forward Kevin Durant (35) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant said Thursday his altercation with former Golden State Warriors teammate Draymond Green in November 2018 actually had a positive impact in the long run.

Durant explained on the Old Man and the Three podcast with New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Redick he felt the entire situation was overblown.

"With so many people just wanting to see—it felt like we were so perfect—they want to see something. They needed some drama around our team. That was their entry point," KD said. "Me and Draymond, we got better after that actually. I felt like I was more locked into the team after that. I felt like he understood me more because we sat down and talked about that whole situation."

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The numbers actually back up his stance. The confrontation with Green happened in a mid-November game against the Los Angeles Clippers two years ago, and Durant went on a tear for the rest of the month, including games of 51, 49 and 44 points. His 31.6 scoring average that month was his highest of the season.

Green, who was suspended one game for the incident, doesn't have such happy memories about it.

He appeared on Showtime's All the Smoke with former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson in April and provided his side of the story (via Drew Shiller of NBC Sports Bay Area):

"And they're pretty much telling me you were wrong, you (need to) apologize. And my thing to them was—I told y'all this. Yeah, it boiled over but this shouldn't be no surprise to nobody. I told y'all what it was ... they kept telling me you need to apologize. And I'm like, 'I'm not f--king apologizing. He's one foot in and one foot out. I meant what I said. I'm not f--king apologizing for something I meant to say.

"After an hour and 45 minutes, they're like, 'You go home, you meet us in the morning. You sleep on it, maybe you'll feel different.' We meet and they're like, 'So you gonna apologize?' And I'm like, 'I'm not apologizing.' So then Steve [Kerr] tells me, 'All right, well we're gonna suspend you for tonight's game.' No, Bob [Myers] said it.

"I started laughing. He's like, 'Well that's not the response I expected you to have.' I'm like, 'Well, I feel like you're suspending me to try to save Kevin—to try to make him feel good. Because that's bulls--t. I ain't never seen no player get suspended for arguing with another player."

The Warriors ultimately finished the season by losing to the Toronto Raptors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Durant, who suffered a ruptured Achilles in the series, left to join the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. He missed his entire first year in Brooklyn while recovering.

Green remained in Golden State, but an injury-riddled year dropped the previously dominant squad to the bottom of the NBA standings during the 2019-20 campaign.

The Nets' first meeting with the Warriors next season will be an intriguing one.  

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