Draymond Green and Kevin Durant got into a confrontation with each other during a game two years ago. They quickly downplayed the argument and since won two titles together with the Warriors. The incident was largely forgotten.
Green and Durant quarreled on the bench again last night. This time, the surrounding rhetoric is trending the other way.
An angry late game exchange between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green carried into the Golden State Warriors locker room on Monday night in Los Angeles, where some teammates loudly confronted Green for his decision-making on the final play of regulation, league sources told ESPN.
After the 121-116 overtime loss to the LA Clippers, some witnesses described the closed-door exchange as one of the most intense of this Warriors era. No one had to be separated, no player left his side and no hint of physicality loomed in the setting, sources said.
If harsh words over late-game strategy has been most intense exchange of the last three seasons, the Warriors are incredibly spoiled. Related: The Warriors are incredibly spoiled.
Teams would kill to suffer only this level of drama. Bickering over a November loss is nearly nothing. Green wanted to push the ball. Durant wanted to control it himself. It’s not necessarily a deep issue.
That said, because the Warriors have faced minimal challenge since signing Durant, this can feel more significant to them. They might overreact and let this linger in ways teams with more serious problems might not. So, this can spiral into something bigger.
Big enough to affect Durant’s upcoming free agency? He has the power to leave, and playing with the temperamental Green can be draining.
It can also be rewarding. Green’s attitude helps make him one of the NBA’s top defenders, and he’s a superb playmaker – a reason keeping the ball in his hands, despite the failed result this time, made sense. If Durant leaves Golden State, he might not find a teammate as good as Green (let alone Stephen Curry).
This episode will be one of the many things for Durant to consider next summer.