It has been a wild two days for the Golden State Warriors. On Monday night, during a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, emotions boiled over when Draymond Green turned the ball over on the final play of regulation, forcing overtime.
Kevin Durant wanted the ball (as did Klay Thompson), and tensions rose in the huddle. After the game, those tensions carried over into the locker room, where the discussion angrily continued. Teammates aired concerns with Green’s decision-making, Green aired issues with Durant, and KD skipped town before meeting with the media.
That seemed to be that, until the team decided to suspend Green for a game. And, after that game (a tepid win against the Atlanta Hawks), Durant met with the media, and his demeanor made one thing clear: This is very much an issue, and something that needs to be resolved.
There have been a lot of reports, and a lot of information surrounding the situation. Here’s what we know about what’s going on.
The players are worried
If you want to know the severity of the issue, just ask those closest to it: The players. They’ve made it rather clear that this issue extends beyond simple day-to-day issues within the team.
Marcus Thompson II quotes one player as saying, “With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back. The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.’ ”
That’s a bit terrifying.
Durant is hurt
We know Durant can be defensive, and it’s clear that what Green said hurt him. A day later, that hurt hadn’t disappeared.
According to Anthony Slater, in his post-game press conference, Durant showed that the issue was still there. Asked if he and Green had cleared the air, he answered simply, “Nah.” Asked if it will make them stronger, Durant replied, “Who knows. We’ll see.” And asked about their friendship, Durant said, “I don’t really think that even matters at this point right now,” before shifting the conversation back to the game.
Green crossed some lines
This wasn’t a simple argument that goes away. Green said some things that should not have been said. Thompson reports that, following Durant initially expressing anger at Green’s lack of passing, Green retorted, “Who the f*** you talking to?” before repeatedly calling Durant a “bitch”.
But it doesn’t end there. Green repeatedly brought up Durant’s impending free agency, both in the huddle and after the game, according to Slater. And then there’s this nugget from Shams Charania, from after Green’s playmaking was questioned:
“Don’t talk to me and come at me like I’m ______,” Green said, mentioning the name of a Warriors rotation big man here, per sources. “… I’ve won before you came.”
That said, Green understands that he crossed a line. Charania also reported that Green knows he picked the wrong place and time to air these concerns. It remains to be seen what he does with that.
Steph got involved
Perhaps this situation would have been avoided if Steph Curry, the most respected and powerful person on the team (and arguably in the organization), had been playing. But instead, Curry was at home, rehabbing a groin injury.
But in the aftermath, he got involved. According to Thompson, Curry visited Green at his house on Tuesday, not to play peacemaker so much as to just hear Green’s side of the story. Green admitted to Curry that he crossed the line, and the belief is that he’ll admit that to the rest of the team, and Durant, as well.
This isn’t the role Curry should have to play, but it is a role he plays brilliantly, and it’s clear that he’ll be instrumental in the team moving past this moment. And while he won’t be back on the court anytime soon, he will be traveling with the team on their upcoming road trip, which is a very good thing. He can help keep everyone calm.
Playing status is still unknown, but Steph Curry is making the Texas trip with the Warriors. That’s not insignificant, even if he can’t play. His locker room presence is needed at this tenuous time. Curry wasn’t in Los Angeles when this went down.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 14, 2018
The players are publicly displaying confidence
The attitude from inside the locker room - at least the attitude being portrayed - is that the team will move on past this. Mark Medina reports that Klay Thompson said, “They’re grown. They’ll be fine. I love both of those guys. At the end of the day, we’re on the same team and same goal. That’s to three peat. I don’t think either one of them will lose sight of that whether it’s personal agenda or whatever. I think we’ll get far past that.”
This sentiment was echoed by many teammates, and resulted in two brilliant lines from Thompson and Andre Iguodala.
"Once we go on a win streak, it will NOT matter and this will be in the past... Like a ponytail." -Klay Thompsonpic.twitter.com/JW9l4i0kqf— #Mickstape (Scary Hours) (@MickstapeShow) November 14, 2018
Andre Iguodala postgame on the Warriors' current adversity: "I think it was an old school pimp that said: 'You can't climb a mountain if it's smooth.'"— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 14, 2018
That said, it will require some work.
One prominent Warriors player told ESPN's The Undefeated that he was going to do everything in his power to get Kevin Durant and Draymond Green back on the same page soon.— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) November 14, 2018
We will keep you updated as more information inevitably trickles out about this wild situation. In the meantime, here’s a refresher on what the upcoming free agency will look like for the Warriors and Durant.
And while some are speculating that Durant will leave and the Warriors should trade him now to get something for him, it’s worth noting that he can veto any trade. It’s also worth noting that the Warriors are really, really, really good, in no small part due to Durant.