We saw a lot of noise after Kevin Durant and Draymond Green clashed back on Monday. It appears that this incident affected Golden State’s locker room atmosphere, irreversibly.
The state of Warriors’ chemistry is an enigma, and the players themselves don’t want to talk about it.
“I’m gonna keep that in-house,” Durant said. “That’s what we do here. I mean, obviously I know you guys got a job to do, but I’m not trying to give nobody no headlines. What happened, happened. We’re trying to move on — just trying to play basketball.”
The two-time NBA Finals MVP clearly doesn’t want to discuss about his argument with Green, but what is also evident, is the fact that the wounds are still fresh. One of the reporters wanted to know what is the relationship between him and Green now, and to hear something about their friendship. KD’s answer was polite, but all the people present at the conference could see that he is a bit annoyed.
“I don’t even think that even matters at this point right now,” Durant said. “We just had a game. Anyone want to talk about the game?”
The game itself was not very good for the Warriors, who had lots of troubles against the young Hawks. Atlanta was constantly threatening and the hosts managed to break their resistance within the last two minutes of the match. Durant was the one who scored for 108-101, which in the end proved to be an unreachable lead for the visiting team.
Draymond Green was suspended for this match. GSW general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr decided to calm the situation down, with Green’s one-match suspension, and that rose a lot of suspicion among the pundits and fans that the might be favoring KD because of his upcoming free agency.
According to those stories, the Warriors management punished Green in order to show Durant that he has special treatment and that he is more important to them than the guy who has been around much longer. This might be the factor which prevails when Durant decides about whether he stays in the Bay after the next summer or leaves.
Steve Kerr strongly denied such a scenario, saying that they don’t even think about Durant’s free agency.
“Not the slightest bit,” he said. “Nobody ever talks about Kevin’s free agency. It doesn’t bother any of us.
To remind you, everything started two nights ago, when the Warriors faced LA Clippers at Staples Center. The hosts missed a shot with 5 until the end, and Green picked up the rebound. 2017 Defensive Player of the Year, ran down the court, and lost the control of the ball, disregarding the calls from Durant who wanted the possession and the last shot.
After that Durant started shouting in his fury, and he didn’t want to calm down. Green reacted and stood up, but fortunately for the Warriors, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins managed to separate the teammates, and to prevent this one from escalating.
However, the argument continued after the game ended, and according to several eyewitnesses, Golden State’s locker room was pretty noisy. Neither of the two wanted to back out.
These two have a long history when it comes to shouting at each other during games. The first incident happened in January 2017, against the Grizzlies. One month later, during the game in Sacramento, Green was furious with Durant, and he didn’t even pay attention to the fact that the whole crowd sees them, while yelling at his teammate.
Now, what is pretty symptomatic, is the fact that whenever Steph Curry isn’t playing, Warriors have some issues. Whether they concern the result and the overall performance of a team, or the position of a leader at that moment. GSW is 254-47 with Curry playing and 22-19 without him. We are talking about the period after Steve Kerr became the head coach of the Warriors.
We will see how this one ends. Klay Thompson says he knows the cure for the current situation.
“A win on Thursday. And a win on Saturday and Sunday. Once we go on a little win streak, it will not matter. And this will be in the past like a ponytail.”
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.