Steve Kyler: At this point I was told odds of a Kemba trade so low not worth speculating. He is eligible for a Max extension this summer. Thats when Hornets make a decision.
November 16, 2018 | 8:26 am EST Update
The people who heard his scathing words loud and clear insist that it was even worse than what has been reported. It wasn’t just about the b-words that were hurled, or the use of Durant’s free agency as a weapon of sorts when Green got so defensive about the criticism that was coming his way. It was the biting, ruthless way in which his message was delivered, all because someone had the nerve to question him in the way he so often does them.
Green returned from a one-game suspension for his dust-up with Kevin Durant and went scoreless with five rebounds and five assists in 24 minutes. Still, Green reiterated his pregame stance that he’s unconcerned by the turmoil and succinctly summed up how he thinks the season will play out for the Warriors. “We’re not panicking,” Green said. “We’re still the best team in the league. We’re still going to win a bunch of games and go win another championship.”
“I was horrible,” Green said. “I just couldn’t do nothing right. A lot of stuff I saw was plays I usually make. I just didn’t really have that feel tonight. But it will come. It is what it is, but my feel wasn’t there at all. My sight was, I saw everything I needed to see. I just really couldn’t get the ball to where I wanted it to go. Things just didn’t go my way, but that’s OK.”
Approximately 35 minutes before tipoff, Durant’s agent, Rich Kleiman, made a point to wait for Green near the tunnel where he would leave the floor after his pregame warmup. There was a hearty hug and a smile-filled conversation between the two — as good a sign as any that the blood might not be that bad after all.
Durant’s postgame mood was better than it has been in recent days. He didn’t like the question about his relationship with Draymond and took a sledgehammer to it quickly, but otherwise held court for about seven minutes, giving detailed answers about the game. Once again, he declined to do side interviews afterwards, a rarity for him and another clear sign how much this storyline is bugging him.
Yet for all the focus on the personal dynamics, there’s an overlooked truth emerging that might be the key to it all for these dispirited Warriors: The allure of the three-peat is an all-powerful kind of thing for all involved, the sort of common goal that might be enticing enough to keep this dynasty from derailing. And coach Steve Kerr, who became a card-carrying member of that exclusive club during his Chicago Bulls days, knows all too well why this opportunity before them is so special. No matter how emotional or exhausting the experience might be. And according to a source close to Durant, he feels the same way.
According to sources, this entire saga isn’t about Durant’s free agency as much as it is Draymond’s vocal attitude about Durant’s free agency. There may be others in that locker room who don’t like how Durant has navigated these waters — and our Marcus Thompson has reported that there is — but no one has chosen to share those views like this. “No one cares except for Draymond,” one source insisted.
Fourteen games into his 13th NBA season, LaMarcus Aldridge finds himself in uncharted territory. He doesn’t know exactly how he got there, but he’s confident he’ll find his way out. “I don’t think I’ve ever gone through (something like) this.…But I will figure it out,” Aldridge said of an offensive slump that’s bedeviled him and the Spurs as they’ve dropped five of their last six games, including a 116-111 decision to the Clippers on Thursday night.