Tensions between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant were one of the subplots of Durant’s final season with the Warriors, and Bleacher Report’s “Chips” is giving viewers a chance to hear them discuss that situation, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Green and Durant had a public confrontation early in that season as Golden State was aiming for its third consecutive title. Green had accused Durant of looking ahead to his next destination in free agency, which he brings up in their “Chips” exchange.
“In my mind, after Year 2, you were over it,” Green tells Durant. “You were onto the next thing, but we had the opportunity to three-peat. And in my mind, what brought you back in year three was just the opportunity to three-peat, but it didn’t feel right for you no more.”
Durant admits there was a perception in his final year that he didn’t enjoy being part of the Warriors. He explains that he was “happy-go-lucky” during his time with the Thunder, but his approach changed when he came to Golden State and saw a clear path to winning titles.
“I knew exactly what my role was and I locked on it with so much focus and determination to not f–k around every day,” Durant said. “And you’ve seen it. From workouts to practices, shootaround, film, and it made people outside look at me like, ‘Hold on, is he enjoying this?’ When I dive into something like that, with that level of focus, I don’t want to be anywhere else in life. That’s the most enjoyable experience I ever had after that first one.
“I played every game, I went hard every day, I cared about every matchup no matter who was on the floor, just my look didn’t feel as open or energetic as before. But I like that. I like that I was closed off and focused on my work.”
Durant and Green have patched up their differences to the point where they can discuss the past without getting heated. They also reunited as teammates to win a gold medal during this year’s Olympics.
Durant said his main regret is not being open enough about his situation as the free agency rumors intensified. Outsiders may believe his time with the Warriors ended bitterly, but he says he enjoyed being part of an organization that was able to compete for a title every year.
“I maybe should have communicated that better to the people who were interested in knowing what I was going through,” Durant said. “But I had the most fun locking in and completing the task because I knew we were going to lock in every night, and it’s rare to get to that point as an NBA player. I just tried to focus in and stay in the moment more than anything.”