2:53pm: Shams Charania of The Athletic provides some more details on the situation in Golden State, reiterating that Green was surprised by his one-game suspension and writing that people around Draymond believe this is the sort of thing he won’t easily forget. Still, friends of Green and Durant believe that they’ll soon meet, making an effort to clear the air and move past Monday’s incident.
8:38am: In an article packed with details on Monday night’s confrontation between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic reports that Green took exception to the way Durant addressed him following his turnover late in Monday’s game.
According to Thompson, Green made it clear that he’s been making plays for the Warriors for years, well before Durant showed up, and wouldn’t stand for KD talking to him like a scrub. Green also accused Durant of making the whole season about him, even though – in Green’s view – he’s going to leave at the end of the year. Green let out his frustrations with the way his teammate has handled his upcoming free agency, per Thompson, who hears that Green also called Durant a “b***h” several times during the exchange.
As Thompson explains, Warriors management felt Green crossed a line and essentially sided with Durant in hitting Green with a one-game suspension, a rebuke that surprised the Michigan State alum.
“With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back,” one player told Thompson. “The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'”
Although the Dubs will be able to point to this incident when Durant reaches free agency to prove he has their full support, Thompson’s account raises doubts about whether it was the right call — if Durant ends up leaving anyway, Golden State will also now have to worry about where things stand with Green.
According to Thompson, the relationship between Green and Durant “needs to be rebuilt,” while the relationship between Green and team management may also now be “in shambles.” This isn’t a situation that will just blow over right away, says Thompson, and that sentiment is echoed by other Bay Area writers, including Dieter Kurtenbach of The Bay Area News Group, Anthony Slater of The Athletic, and Logan Murdock of The Bay Area News Group (Twitter link).
Here’s more on the unexpected drama in Golden State:
- According to several people in the Warriors’ locker room, Durant could have ended the lingering irritation over his free agency situation by saying how much he loves playing with the Warriors and his teammates, then leaving it at that, Thompson writes. Thompson suggests that Green is among those who believe Durant has had a hand in creating hype about his free agency, distracting from the team’s quest for a third straight title.
- Thompson reports that Stephen Curry visited Green on Tuesday and Green admitted to Curry that he was wrong for how – and when – he confronted Durant. However, the “general consensus” is that Green’s concerns about Durant’s handling of his upcoming free agency aren’t off base, Thompson adds.
- Durant spoke to reporters after Tuesday’s game about Green and Monday’s altercation, but his answers were terse, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic, who provides a partial transcript. In Slater’s view, Green’s barbs stung Durant deeply and he wasn’t ready yet to talk about them publicly — so he didn’t.
- One prominent player told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link) that he plans to do everything in his power to get Durant and Green back on the same page.
- Speaking to reporters, including Slater, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson both downplayed the long-lasting impact of Monday’s confrontation. “I think it was an old-school pimp that said: ‘You can’t climb a mountain if it’s smooth,'” Iguodala said. Meanwhile, Thompson offered the following assessment: “A win on Thursday and a win on Saturday and Sunday. That’s called a win streak. (Then) it will not matter and this will be in the past like a ponytail.”