The Draymond Green-Kevin Durant relationship has been the subject of maximum psychoanalysis in the basketball world. Out of the kindness of their hearts they gave us all a glimpse into their fascinating friendship on Green’s new show “Chips” presented by Bleacher Report. This piece is a must watch for any NBA fan, but especially for Dub Nation members who witnessed these two men do spectacular work for the Golden Dynasty.
Green is an excellent interviewer and he asked questions that I could tell excited Durant to answer. They covered a wide range of topics including Durant’s college years, his approach to dominating the NBA, and views on social media and family. If anyone was wondering what Green’s next lane could be after he retires, he could obviously take the world of media by storm.
One of the more fascinating excerpts for me was them discussing the infamous emotional outburst from the overtime loss to the Clippers in 2018. Many speculated that was the moment that effectively ended Durant’s desire to remain with the Warriors, so it it’s cathartic for any armchair psychologists to hear the two really share their sides of that basketball drama.
Here’s my transcription of that portion of the interview for your reading pleasure.
Dray: You then do three years (in Golden State), two championships, would have been three had you not got hurt. But in my opinion, after year two you were over it. You were done with it and you were on to the next thing. But, we had the opportunity to threepeat, and in my mind what brought you back to Golden State for year three was just the opportunity to threepeat. But it didn’t feel right for you, is that right or wrong?
KD: That’s interesting because with a lot of people that’s just the talk around me the last few years...and I get what people are saying because the last few years before I got to Golden State, I was just happy go lucky...like just bright eyed for the experience not knowing what was ahead.
My first year I knew exactly what we had to do in order for us to win every night. I knew what my role was to the T. Teams before I didn’t quite know what my role was every night. Did I have to be the scorer? Did I have to be the facilitator? Did i have to get other guys involved? Did I have to make threes?
I knew exactly what my role was and I locked onto it with so much focus and determination to not f*ck around every day. And you seen it.
From workouts, to practices, shootarounds, film, I was super locked in. And it made people on the outside look in like, “Hold up, is he enjoying this?”. When I dive into something like that, with that level of focus, I don’t wanna be anywhere else in life. That’s the most enjoyable experience I ever had after that first one.
If that was the case (being over the Warriors), I wouldn’t have played 78 games that year. I would have just waited until the end of the season and tried to play in the playoffs. I played every game, I went hard every day. I cared about every matchup no matter who was on the floor. Just my look didn’t feel as like... energetic or as open as it was before.
And I liked that, I liked that I was closed off and focused on my work. I maybe should have communicated that with more people that were interested in knowing what I was going through, but I had the most fun locking in and completing the task. Because I knew we was gonna win, every night.
And it’s rare to get to that point as an NBA player, knowing you gon win every night? So I just tried to focus in and stay in the moment more than anything.
Dray: And for my own personal sanity, because I’ve been getting my ass kicked ever since you left. How much did our argument against the Clippers drive you to ultimately leave the Warriors?
KD: It wasn’t the argument, it was the way that everybody, Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put the mask over everything. I really felt like that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that, we had to get that shi*t all out.
I remember watching “The Last Dance”, the whole team in the locker room said “Scottie that was f*cked up that you did that”. We needed that. We just need to put all of that on the table and say “Yo Dray, K, that was f*cked up we even had to go through that, let’s just wipe our hands with that and let’s go finish the task”.
I don’t think we did that and we tried to dance around it and I just didn’t like how all of that...just the vibe between all of that made sh*t weird for me. I’d rather us be who we say we are. Family first, communication is key, but we didn’t show that, and that’s what rubbed me the wrong way more than anything.
Dray: When we landed back from LA, they put me in that room in Signature for an hour and 45 minutes while Hazel sat in the car. And they tried to tell me, you need to apologize. I’ll talk to K but yall won’t tell me what I need to say. And they went on for an hour and 45 minutes saying a bunch of BS. And ultimately they realized, we’re not getting through to him. We’re gonna try again in the morning.
And so we met the next morning. And they said “Alright, you slept on it, you ready to apologize?”. And I told them right then and there, I said, “Y’all about to f*ck this up”. I said the only person that can make this right, is me and K. And there’s nothing that yall can do and yall are going to f*ck this up. And in my opinion, they f*cked it up.
KD: I think so too.
Dray: And they told me right then and there, “We’re gonna suspend you for this game”. I literally laughed in their face. And Bob said, “Wow that’s not the reaction I’m looking for or expecting.” And I said I’m either gonna laugh in your face or I’m gonna cuss you the f*ck out.
So you pick, I’mma choose laugh. I think what you’re doing is funny, so I’m gonna laugh. And so it’s interesting to hear you say, essentially the same thing that I told them that day.
Fascinating stuff. Hearing two cerebral basketball champions dive into the emotional/relational aspects of playing at such a high level is a rare treat. I encourage you to check out the interview in full and hear these two legends give each other major respect as they discussed a variety of on and off court topics.