Appearing on ESPN’s First Take (video link) on Thursday morning, Nets forward Kevin Durant admitted that last year’s on-court altercation with Draymond Green played a part in his decision to leave the Warriors as a free agent this summer.
“A little bit, yeah, for sure,” Durant responded when asked directly by Stephen A. Smith if that incident played a role in his departure. “Your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. … Definitely [it was a factor], for sure, I’m not going to lie about it.”
According to Durant, he and Green talked things out after that confrontation, which saw the two All-Stars exchange heated words following a blown end-of-game possession in a November loss to the Clippers. Reports at the time indicated that Green told KD the Warriors didn’t need him and that he was welcome to leave as a free agent.
In today’s First Take appearance, Durant went on to explain that the Green incident was far from the only factor in his decision, and that he simply thought it was time for him to move on from the Warriors.
“I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head,” Durant said, per Malika Andrews of ESPN. “I felt like it was going to be the end no matter what, especially for that group. Shaun Livingston was retiring. Andre Iguodala was getting older. Our contracts were going to start for the team and put us in a hole to get other players. It was time for all of us to separate.
Besides addressing his departure from Golden State, Durant touched on a few other topics that he has discussed before, reiterating that he didn’t feel pressured by the Warriors’ front office or his teammates to return from his calf injury in the NBA Finals (video link). The All-NBA forward also said again that he’s not expecting to play at all during the 2019/20 season as he recovers from his Achilles tear (video link).