It’s hard to argue that Kevin Durant’s time with the Warriors was anything but a complete success. In three seasons, we earned 2 NBA Championships, 2 Finals MVPs, and cemented himself as an All-Time great.
Unfortunately, it also ended a lot earlier than most expected. According to comments Durant made following his departure from the team, it was a mix of feeling like an outsider, wanting to move out east and, of course, his infamous scuffle with Draymond Green.
That argument, according to Durant, drove a wedge between the two that lasted the rest of the season.
In an appearance on “All The Smoke” podcast, it was Draymond’s turn to give his side of the story. It was there that he recently revealed some more details behind the game-changing altercation.
“Beginning of the year, I told (Warriors general manager) Bob (Myers) and (coach) Steve (Kerr): ‘I’m struggling with Kevin right now. I need some help. It’s frustrating and I need some help.’ Nobody did s–t. So I’m kind of stuck in this position, but aight.
“So we’re playing the Clippers, and you know how I am — I’m gonna roll with you, I’ll take the bullet for you, I’ll take the heat in the media for you, I’ll take the suspension for you, I’ll take the fine, I’ll take the tech, whatever — for my guys. But in return, all I need from you is just to know that you’re with me …
“He comes to the bench and he slaps the bench like, ‘Yo! Pass me the f–king ball.’ I’m like, ‘Get the f–k outta here. F–king run then.’ And he’s like, ‘You heard what the f–k I said’ and slaps the chair: ‘Pass me the f–king ball.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, you better calm the f–k down. I don’t know who the f–k you think you’re talking to.’
“Remember, I got the pulse of this team. I got the pulse of the organization. I already know you one foot in and one foot out. By the way, I’m the closest person here to you. When you have a problem — when s–t going on in your life — the person you talk to here is me. We got that relationship … So that’s where I’m like, ‘Yo, who the f–k you think you’re talking to? I’ve been an All-Star before you got here. I’ve been doing this. Don’t talk to me like I’m one of these little dudes that don’t know how to hoop. I’m a grown a– man.’
“And then he started cussing back and I’m cussing back. And then DeMarcus pulled me out of the huddle like, ‘Yo, calm down. I feel where you’re coming from but relax. It’s too much.’
“I met with Steve Kerr and Bob Myers when we landed. My fiancee was on the team plane with us, so she’s sitting in the car — I turned the heat on, she sitting in the car, I’m thinking the meeting is gonna be quick — I’m in the meeting at the airport terminal for like an hour and 45 minutes with them.
“And they’re pretty much telling me you were wrong, you (need to) apologize. And my thing to them was — I told ya’ll this. Yeah, it boiled over but this shouldn’t be no surprise to nobody. I told ya’ll what it was … they kept telling me you need to apologize. And I’m like, ‘I’m not f–king apologizing. He’s one foot in and one foot out. I meant what I said. I’m not f–king apologizing for something I meant to say.
“After an hour and 45 minutes, they’re like, ‘You go home, you meet us in the morning. You sleep on it, maybe you’ll feel different.’ We meet and they’re like, ‘So you gonna apologize?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m not apologizing.’ So then Steve tells me, ‘All right, well we’re gonna suspend you for tonight’s game.’ No, Bob said it.
“I started laughing. He’s like, ‘Well that’s not the response I expected you to have.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I feel like you’re suspending me to try to save Kevin — to try to make him feel good. Because that’s bulls–t. I ain’t never seen no player get suspended for arguing with another player.
“I told them ya’ll gonna make a mistake suspending me because the only person that can fix this is me … they still did it … so I kind of patched it up. But it never was the same after that. But to me, it wasn’t the same before that and it hadn’t been the same for at least a year. It had just gone from bad to worse.”
This is, by far, the most detailed recollection of what happened that day. Interestingly, however, the problems stemmed long before that. So what about the notion that Durant left the Warriors because of Dray? The Warriors big man scoffs at that idea.
“This is f–king Kevin Durant we’re talking about. Yeah, I’ve done great things here. But let me tell you this — if Kevin really wanted to be here, all he would have done is went to Bob and said, ‘Yeah, I’ll stay. But Draymond gotta go.’ And guess what — Bob Myers would have called me and said, ‘Draymond, I love you — and I won’t trade you to a bad team — but where do you want to go?’
“So to try to point the finger and say, ‘Oh man, I left because of him.’ Get the f–k outta here. I still love K. His feelings about me may not be the same. But I’ll ride with him for the rest of my life. I got that type of love for that brother. But you ain’t leave because of me. You’re f–king Kevin Durant. If you wanted to be here, I would have been out. I would have been long gone.
“And guess who would have understood that? (he points at himself). I understand the business of basketball … he ain’t f–king leave because of me. That’s just the real.”
Obviously, there were some deep issues between them but it may have been Durant’s potential departure that caused the biggest rift.
Evidently, we’ll never know for sure. After that day, though, things were never the same and it’s clear that there were a number of different factors at play.