The history books will always link Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. They were running mates on the Golden State Warriors for three years, winning a pair of championships and establishing the Warriors as one of the greatest teams in NBA history. And they famously got into a locker room altercation during the 2018-19 season, which resulted Green getting suspended, Durant going silent with the media, and an awkward tension hanging over the team.
In that altercation, Green reportedly brought up Durant’s upcoming free agency, and his unwillingness to commit to the Warriors long term. Durant was on his third consecutive one-year deal, which left the Warriors in a constant state of wondering what the future held for their roster.
Ultimately, after much speculation that 2018-19 would be Durant’s final season in the Bay Area, the two-time Finals MVP opted to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, while Green signed a four-year extension with the Warriors.
Earlier in the week, Green opened up about how Durant’s looming free agency impacted the Warriors team. On an episode of Uninterrupted’s “WRTS: After Party,” Green told Paul Rivera (co-creator of “The Shop”) and Maverick Carter (LeBron James’ manager) that Durant’s contract situation was an “elephant in the room.”
“Due to that, there was always an elephant in the room” @Money23Green explains how KD’s contract uncertainty impacted the @warriors last season.— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) April 21, 2020
Full conversation with @mavcarter & @pr_rwtw: https://t.co/0G4ldwQr75 #WRTS #AfterParty pic.twitter.com/AmQCy7doCe
Here’s the bulk of Green’s quote from the above clip:
Kevin took the one-year deal on his own, so that was kind of the elephant in the room. And although Steve [Kerr’s] approach was like, “Hey guys, let’s enjoy this year because we don’t know what next year brings,” you’ve got Kevin’s contract, you’ve got Klay [Thompson’s] contract, and I kind of got thrown in that contract thing, although I had another year . . .
. . . And so that was kind of the elephant in the room, and although Steve would kind of hit on it like, “Let’s just enjoy this year for what it is, because we don’t know what next year holds,” it didn’t necessarily carry the same weight. Because what should have happened was Kevin come out and say, “Hey man, like, this is it, so let’s do this.” Or, “This isn’t it.” But you can’t just leave the elephant in the room, because what happened was the question came to us every day.
Every time we spoke to the media, Klay and myself was asked about our contracts. And it was strictly due to Kevin. Because while that was going on, Klay was saying “I wanna be a Warrior forever. Like, I wanna be here, we started this thing, this is where I want to be.” I’m saying, “I wanna be here for my career. We started this, we built this, I wanna finish my career here with the guys I started it with.” And then you kind of had Kevin like, “I don’t know what I’m gonna do next year, and it don’t matter.”
But it does matter, because you’re not the only person that has to answer that question. And to be quite frank with you, you’re honestly the last person that has to answer the question, because you don’t really say shit. Like you don’t really say much to the media. If anything, you tell them to shut the fuck up. Well, I don’t tell them to shut the fuck up, I kind of have a conversation, and so I’m stuck answering that question all the time. And due to that, there was always an elephant in the room amongst us.”
Hearing Green’s account, now that all the dust has settled, is definitely fascinating, and makes perfect sense.
You can watch the whole episode below, though be warned: There is a moment of Carter taking wholly inaccurate shots at Steph Curry’s defense.