Did that argument factor into Durant leaving the Warriors for the Nets?
Durant on ESPN:
A little bit, yeah, for sure.
I mean, your teammate talk to you that way, you think about it a bit. But like I said, we talked about it. But definitely, for sure. I’m not going to lie about it.
A few days after the argument, Durant said he was moving past the incident. I’m sure that was his intention. He was trying to focus on the season and a championship chase.
But I’m glad Durant admitted to this obvious truth now. How could a teammate talk that way to him without him feeling less comfortable in Golden State? Durant said he never fit in like other Warriors. This incident stands out.
Kendrick Perkins, who’s close with Durant, even said Golden State had the upper hand to sign him until the argument with Green. That’s the huge question: Would Durant have re-signed if Green didn’t confront him like that?
Maybe Durant would have left, anyway. After all, Green’s outburst was certainly fueled by pervasive rumors about Durant going to New York. (People were wrong to focus on the Knicks rather than the Nets, but the city proved correct). Durant also accepted less money last season in order to become a free agent last summer. At very minimum, that flexibility mattered to him.
Nobody – not even Durant – can know what would’ve happened without Green’s outburst. Durant could have lived a vastly different experience last season.
But we know what happened: Green lashed out, and Durant left. That’s something Green – who took blame for Golden State losing the 2016 NBA Finals – will have to live with. To his credit, Green accepted responsibility for creating the rift with Durant and apologized.
Still, that one heated moment will endure for its role in ending a dynasty.