Getting into a heated exchange with Draymond Green wasn’t the end-all, be-all for Kevin Durant as a Warrior.
But it certainly played a factor in his departure from Golden State.
“A little bit, yeah, for sure,” Durant said Thursday on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“Your teammate talk to you that way, you think about it a bit, but we talked about it. But definitely, for sure, I’m not gonna lie about it.”
The now-infamous incident happened last November during a game against the Clippers. Green had the ball in the final seconds of regulation and did not pass it to Durant, instead dribbling into traffic and failing to get a shot off. Back on the bench, before the Warriors went on to lose in overtime, the two had to be separated after sparring verbally, including Green reportedly calling Durant a “bitch” multiple times and referencing his upcoming free agency.
Green was suspended one game for the altercation and while the two sides later tried to make up and not let it sink the Warriors’ season, it partly paved the way for Durant to leave the Warriors and sign with the Nets this summer.
“I lost [Durant’s] trust,” Green said recently on ESPN’s The Woj Pod. “How do I get that back? Not so we can win a championship or we can win some games … but I actually loved this guy, like that’s really my brother. And so not knowing what’s next in our relationship bothered me more.”
There was also much more that went into Durant’s decision to leave the Warriors, even after winning a pair of championships with them as Finals MVP both times.
“I just felt like I needed a switch,” Durant said. “I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head. I felt like that was just going to be the end no matter what, especially for that group. Shaun Livingston was retiring, Andre Iguodala was getting older, our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. So it was just like, it was time for all of us to kind of separate.”
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