You’re a b—, and you know you’re a b—. We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave.
That’s reportedly a paraphrase of what Draymond Green told Kevin Durant during a November 2018 in-game spat. Those sharp words loomed over the rest of the the Warriors’ season and Durant’s eventual exit from Golden State.
It’s also worth remembering everything that surrounded the heated argument.
The Warriors and Clippers were tied in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. Green beat Durant to a defensive rebound. As Durant clapped for the ball, Green dribbled up-court himself, fumbled the ball and didn’t even get off a shot. Durant looked agitated. He and Green – mostly Green – jawed on the bench. As Durant took the court for overtime, he appeared to say, “That’s why I’m out.” Golden State lost in the extra period.
The Warriors suspended Green one game. Steve Kerr reportedly decided the punishment at the behest of his players, who found a fine insufficient. Durant reportedly challenged Green to better control his emotions. Durant said he and Green agreed to move on.
But after signing with the Nets, Durant said the incident contributed to him leaving Golden State.
Now, he’s expanding on what wrong:
Durant on All The Smoke:
That play happened. I was going to grab the rebound. He came and grabbed it. I’m thinking he’s just going to toss it to me, and we’re going to run up court, and I’m going to shoot the shot.
Everybody knew that, and we all figured that would happen. And then when it didn’t, I was kind of shocked. And then I was just, “Whoa, Dray. Let me see that.” Like, “What you doing?” Then he turned it over. And I’m just so confused at that point, because he never, ever did nothing like that before. And everybody on the bench was confused, too. And then when we came back, I just heard him screaming. And I was like, “Hold up.” He’s usually screaming when he comes back to the bench. But what is he saying? Then, he started going off. And I’m just like – maybe it’s because I was f—ing p—ed that he didn’t give me the rock. Because I didn’t say nothing. It was just in my body language. I was just clapping and like, “F—.”
Then, he started coming off the top with all of that stuff. And I’m just thinking, “Draymond is actually my friend, somebody I can call when I’m going through anything.” Like, “Yo, bro, come through.” Like, “Damn, bro, let’s hang out tonight.” And for him to say that type of s— to me just threw me for a loop. And I just started isolating myself after that, because I didn’t feel – they suspended Draymond. But it was just like they had to so it wouldn’t look bad to everybody else. And then nobody talked to me about it or really – we never really came to an agreement. We didn’t voice our opin – nobody as a whole – because it happened in front of the whole team, and nobody really talked about it. It was just swept under the rug. And to me, it was just like, we a family. We’re supposed – even if he said that, we can move past it. But let’s all talk about it. Let’s just say how we all felt about moment, because that was a huge moment in this whole dynasty. Don’t just sweep it under the rug because we want to win. That’s the reason why we’re not going to win. So, I was just like, “Let’s all talk about this.” It’s not that big of a deal. Just put it out on the table. We can move past it. And when that didn’t happen, I was just like “F— it. Let me just hoop and worry about myself.”
We all know what Draymond is. It’s fine that you want to do that, that you want to show your emotions and wear them on your sleeve. But when it’s over the line sometimes, let’s just talk about it, so next time you can tone it down just a bit. And I feel like we didn’t have an opportunity to do so. Because we were so focused on just trying to move forward and win. And I get that, too. But if we’re a family…
We done won two chips together, it’s bigger than – this some s— we can sit down and talk about.
Me and him sat down and talked about it, and we kind of, I gave him my piece on it. He told me how he felt on it. But it happened in front of the whole team. So, everybody got to talk about it.
We know, s—, turnovers happen. S— happens.
Green recruited Durant to Golden State. They definitely once appeared close.
But there were also other examples of Green pushing the limits with Durant. It’s not totally shocking Green went over the line. He’s an intense competitor with minimal filter.
Green is also such a smart player. For him to hold the ball with Durant on the floor was stunning. (That’s why one interpretation of Durant saying “That’s why I’m out” was he was saying that why he’s out on the court.) It’s underdiscussed the frame of mind that put Durant in even before hearing Green’s jarring personal attack.
Durant reportedly discussed teaming up with Kyrie Irving years before they actually did. Durant looking toward New York was an open secret, even if people predicted the wrong team (Nets, not Knicks). It was Durant’s right to change teams. But positioning himself to do so added tension within the Warriors.
I appreciate Durant acknowledging that he understands Golden State’s desire to move on. He’s willing to see another viewpoint.
For what it’s worth, so was Green after the fact. Once Durant signed in Brooklyn, Green expressed remorse about harming his relationship with Durant.
But in the moment, emotions were more raw. If he wasn’t already totally set on departing, this incident distanced Durant further from Golden State. It was a big deal.
In the aftermath of the incident, Durant tersely told a reporter to stop asking about his relationship with Green. Now, Durant calls it a “huge moment in this whole dynasty.” Occasionally, the media correctly identifies which storylines warrant more attention – even when an involved player pretends otherwise.