- Draymond Green and Kevin Durant’s verbal altercation in November threatened the Golden State Warriors’ season.
- In an interview with ESPN, Green explained how he refused to apologise to Durant the day after the incident because he felt time needed to pass and it needed to happen genuinely.
- When Green did apologise, he said Durant told him he wouldn’t let Green use his emotions as an excuse for his behaviour – something Green said helped his personal growth.
- Green said he learned to ignore the noise about Durant’s free agency this year by focusing on their current season and not the future of the team.
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Draymond Green and Kevin Durant’s on-court altercation in November nearly blew up the Golden State Warriors’ season.
Durant snapped at Green for not getting him the ball for a game-winning shot. Green fired back at Durant, cursing him out and saying that Durant was going to leave the Warriors in free agency this summer. Green told Durant the team didn’t need him.
The Warriors suspended Green for one game, and an awkwardness lingered over the team for several days, as the rest of the NBA wondered if the fallout would be ugly enough for the Warriors to break up the team.
In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Green opened up about altercation, explaining how he refused to apologise to Durant the next day.
“Everyone wanted me to go to Kevin and say, ‘Hey man, I’m sorry!'” Green said. “Everybody. Maybe Kevin. The organisation, the world. Everybody wanted me to go Kevin and say ‘I apologise, man. I’m sorry.’ … I told them no, I’m not doing that.
“Because, A. It’s not the time for that … That’s ridiculous. First off, you need to let time do its job. And when the time is right, I’ll feel that and it will be genuine. But what I wasn’t going to do is I wasn’t going to go to Kevin and say I’m sorry because everybody wanted me to. No, it’s going to genuinely happen, and when it genuinely happened, everything will correct itself. But if we force it, it won’t correct itself.”
Green eventually spoke with Durant and told him he shouldn’t have reacted that way and that he let his emotions get the best of him. That’s when Durant gave Green feedback that Green said helped him grow as a person.
“He said, ‘Well, first off, everybody keeps saying Draymond’s emotional and that’s just Draymond.’ He said, ‘As your brother, I’m not giving you that out. I’m not giving you that excuse to use because I’ve seen you in every situation, and I’ve seen how you handled yourself … And that’s an excuse that everybody’s allowed you to have, and I’m not allowing you to use that excuse anymore.'”
Green said Durant’s response was “big” for his own growth. He said because Durant’s opinion matters to him, it registered differently and forced him to look at it from a different perspective.
Several Warriors said that in the aftermath of the event, Stephen Curry played a large role in smoothing things over. Though he wasn’t present for the altercation because of an injury, he met in private with both Green and Durant and was a vocal, light-hearted presence afterward, according to The Mercury News.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr called Curry a “coalition builder.”
Of course, rumours have persisted throughout the season that Durant may leave in free agency. Green said Durant helped quell the “noise” by reminding Green and the team that he was with them every day, working just as hard.
While Green hasn’t gotten the type of commitment from Durant that he was looking for when the altercation occurred, Green said he realised it was better to focus on this season and not worry about the future.
Watch Green’s answer below:
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