Sporting an Oakland A’s hat, Kevin Durant finally laid it all out: It wasn’t Draymond Green’s infamous shouting match that pushed him to leave the Golden State Warriors. It was how the team — specifically coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers — reacted afterwards.
Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors high-fives Draymond Green after the Warriors scored a basket against the Houston Rockets during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2019, in Oakland, Calif.
I’ll back up. On Wednesday, Bleacher Report dropped a much-anticipated interview between KD and Green, the latter of whom is apparently hosting a new web series called “Chips.” In recent years, Durant has become reticent to speak with the media, and mostly (playfully) trolls annoying fans on Twitter, so this was a rare, real opportunity for him to tie up some loose ends about his bumpy departure from the Dubs. And boy did he.
“I felt like I was the absolute perfect fit with what you guys were doing on both ends of the ball,” he told Green about why he decided to leave Oklahoma City for Oakland in the first place. “And I knew my game had reached a point where I needed to really see what that looked like. And I thought that was just a no-brainer: I would do that s—t a million times again. I didn’t second-guess at all.”
Durant said he went through the formal free agency meetings with other teams in the summer of 2016 but had basically already made up his mind to join the Dubs. His hunch was spot-on, as the Warriors won two championships and advanced to three straight title rounds. Green made sure to note that they would’ve won three championships “had you [Durant] not got hurt,” to which Durant responded, “Easily.” (Surely Raptors fans will not be annoyed by this.)
But like any good interviewer, Green quickly transitioned from complimentary softball questions to the good stuff. “In my opinion, after year two, you were over it,” Green bluntly told Durant. “You were done with it and you were onto the next thing. But we had the opportunity to three-peat, and in my mind, what brought you back to Golden State for year three was just the opportunity to three-peat.”
Durant didn’t totally agree with that thesis, actually, and countered that he was mostly just intensely focused on his craft, which might’ve come across as him being moody or upset.
“I locked [in] with so much focus and determination to not f—k around every day, and you seen it. From workouts to practices, shootarounds, film, I was super locked in. It made people on the outside look at me like, ‘Hold on. Is he enjoying this?’ … I liked that I was closed off and focused on my work. I maybe should’ve communicated that with more people who were interested in knowing what I was going through, but I had the most fun locking in and completing the task.”
But Durant was of course upset about his much-publicized November 2018 argument with Green, when Green reportedly laid into KD in the middle of a game. Green asked Durant how much their argument drove KD “to ultimately leave the Warriors,” as has largely been assumed, and Durant confirmed it had a major effect — just not in the way most onlookers have long assumed.
“It wasn’t the argument,” Durant said. “It was the way that everybody — Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that 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 s—t all out.”
Durant went on to say he would’ve preferred the team address their fight head-on, but no one did that. Instead, “we tried to dance around it,” he asserted.
Green concurred, and said the Warriors wanted him to force an apology to Durant, which he warned them would backfire. Myers nevertheless decided to suspend Green for a game, and Green responded by laughing in Myers’ face.
“In my opinion, they f—ked it up,” Green said. And Durant agreed.
Watch the full interview below.