Hunter Atkins: Draymond Green’s first comments since …

Hunter Atkins: Draymond Green’s first comments since flair up with Kevin Durant: “I’m never going to change who I am… I read a lot about how…’Did I force Kevin to leave?’…Whatever Kevin decides to do, whatever Klay decides to do, we had great years together. I support everybody.”

More on Durant-Green Dynamic

Jeff Zilgitt: Draymond's statement, saying he would address the issue one time and one time only. Didn't apologize. But said the Warriors wouldn't crumble because of an argument. Worth a listen.
Mark Medina: Draymond spoke for about two minutes about his situation about Durant and dismissed any concern this will derail the team’s championship aspirations
Nick Friedell: After an opening statement, Draymond does not take any questions about the incident. Says he only wants to address it once and focus on basketball.
Nick Friedell: Kerr says the team addressed some things in regard to Draymond/KD incident during a team meeting prior to shootaround and that he wishes to keep the contents of that meeting private. Kerr says Draymond and KD have spoken.
Durant was upset about not getting a pass from Green before he turned the ball over in the final seconds of regulation against the host Los Angeles Clippers. Sources said Green was perturbed by Durant clapping for the ball and being upset about not getting it for a possible game-winner. Other sources said Green crossed the line when he responded with a very personal expletive-laden tirade. Those words included Green telling Durant that he succeeded before he arrived and questioning the two-time Finals MVP’s loyalty with his upcoming free agency.
He had bypassed pitching the ball to the two-time Finals MVP who clearly wanted the last shot. When Durant came at Green, questioning his decision making, the ever-emotional leader of the Warriors responded. “Don’t talk to me and come at me like I’m ______,” Green said, mentioning the name of a Warriors rotation big man here, per sources. “… I’ve won before you came.”
People around Green have acknowledged that this is the type of situation that he won’t forget easily and it’s why the two will need to speak about the situation to smooth things over.
Green flipped the topic of conversation on Durant by challenging him on the handling of his free-agent season, league sources told The Athletic, perhaps creating more issues that will need to be addressed.
In the press conference, when asked about his friendship with Draymond Green, Durant replied, “I don’t really think that even matters right now.” I ask Andre if the Warriors can win with KD and Draymond at odds like this. Andre responds, “Shaq and Kobe ain’t like each other.” Me: “But that ended in a way you wouldn’t want this to end, right?” Andre: “They won three championships in a row. Ain’t that what you want to happen?” Me: “I guess all things come to an end.” Andre: “Everything come to an end.”
While sources say that Green’s treatment of Durant on the court was the primary reason for their choice to take approximately $120,000 out of his bank account, it’s clear that his caustic comments to Durant that related to free agency played a pivotal part here too. If only we lived in a world with unending candor, where the press release might include a line like, “We’d strongly prefer that Draymond doesn’t pack Kevin’s bags for him and book his flight on one of those Alaska Airlines planes that feature his smiling face and incredible wingspan, and so he was suspended.”
According to several in the locker room, Durant could have ended this by just saying how much he loves playing with the Warriors and his teammates and leave it at that, even if he departs in the offseason. They are all prepared for him to leave so they just want the cloud hanging over them to go away. Another option would be to reject all questions about free agency and force the media to focus on this season, a way of protecting his teammates.
Durant has said he doesn’t want to lead anybody on. But Green is part of a contingent that believes Durant has a hand in creating the hype about his free agency, a tangential focus that detracts from their mission of winning a third straight title.
Green was surprised by the heavy-handedness. A fine was expected. Green had just come back from injury, giving him a rest day for Tuesday’s game against Atlanta and a private fine would have been an acceptable rebuke of his behavior. He was fined a few thousand dollars when he went after Kerr in the locker room in Oklahoma City in 2016. He didn’t think this incident was nearly as bad, so the punishment being drastically worse was shocking.
Why didn’t they just fine him privately as they have before? “If we thought that was the right thing to do,” one front office executive said, “we would have. We have to do what we think is right.”
When asked if he felt Green crossed a line Monday night, Durant said he didn't want to get into specifics. "I'm gonna keep that in-house," Durant said. "That's what we do here. I mean, obviously I know you guys got a job to do, but I'm not trying to give nobody no headlines. What happened, happened. We're trying to move on -- just trying to play basketball."
Logan Murdock: Sense I’m getting re: Durant-Draymond: this dispute, unlike others, did major damage to their relationship. Durant feels like his teammate crossed the line and may be open to a good working relationship in the future, but it’s going to take a minute to get that friendship back.
Green repeatedly called Durant “a bitch” after he was called out by the two-time NBA Finals MVP in the huddle for not passing him the ball, sources said. The organization is of the belief that Green cut too deep in his disagreement with Durant, sources said. Klay Thompson, who is typically reserved, spoke up in the locker room to the surprise of his teammates about the altercation and stressed the importance of sticking together, sources said. It is not yet clear how the Warriors will explain Green’s benching, considering it stemmed from a verbal altercation between two teammates.
Anthony Slater: This is one of those situations where the NBA’s crunched schedule may help the Warriors. Instead of tension boiling/story building during day away, they get weak Hawks team tonight in Oracle. Smoke ATL/downplay tension in media, may die quick. But if they don’t/don’t, it’ll grow.
An angry late game exchange between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green carried into the Golden State Warriors locker room on Monday night in Los Angeles, where some teammates loudly confronted Green for his decision-making on the final play of regulation, league sources told ESPN. After the 121-116 overtime loss to the LA Clippers, some witnesses described the closed-door exchange as one of the most intense of this Warriors era. No one had to be separated, no player left his side and no hint of physicality loomed in the setting, sources said.
Golden State officials were working Tuesday to deal with the situation, league sources said. Teammates did argue with Green over his choice in the final moments to keep the ball instead of passing to Durant for a try at a game-winning shot, sources said. Green was forceful in his defense of himself, which helped to escalate the volume in the room, sources said.
Monte Poole: ‘If I had a vote, I’d vote for him.’ - Draymond Green on Kevin Durant’s Def Player of the Year candidacy.
He then chose far more colorful language — and expletives — to describe their heated exchange during a timeout. Green acknowledges being mad that night. He and Durant are thriving now. "It just shows the trust that we have in each other, the relationship we have that we can go at each other," Green said. "No one takes it personal. You say what you got to say, I say what I got to say. We figure it out and then we move on. That's kind of what that was. You want to grow from moments like that if you're a strong team, if your chemistry's strong, you grow from moments like that. Chemistry's not so strong, you're not much of a together team, you can crumble from situations like that. But our chemistry is one of the things that makes us special."
That's also typical Green, who lately is also having games in which he catches defenses off guard by knocking down 3-pointers. His teammates love it all. "I knew he would make my job way easier and I knew I could help him," Durant said. "I knew that his intensity was going to up the level of everybody on the floor, the way he approaches the game, his passion and love for the game. That stuff stood out more than anything. Obviously he's quick for his position, he's got long arms, he can shoot the 3, he can pass, he can rebound, but just his passion and love for the game that kind of shines bright, and it's contagious."
Draymond Green: I'm hurt to see my guy @Kevin Durant go down, but it's always strength in numbers. Get well soon K!!! #DubNation
The verbal altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green on Saturday was nothing more than an attempt by Green to light a fire under his superstar teammate, league sources told ESPN on Tuesday. Sources told ESPN that Green, trying to use reverse psychology, intentionally and aggressively approached Durant with a bevy of choice words during a break in Saturday's loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Green's premeditated approach sparked a verbal spat that lasted roughly 30 seconds. "F-you" bombs were repeatedly tossed back and forth by both players, sources told ESPN. Durant was enraged. Sources said Green, knowing he had accomplished his goal, began winking and smiling at some of his teammates and coaching staff. Sources told ESPN that Green and Durant watched Super Bowl LI together Sunday.
“It was just good communication between two teammates who are passionate and trying to figure something out together,” Kerr said after practice Saturday. “Kevin didn’t take anything personally, and I thought Draymond handled it really well. We had a good film session, a good meeting today where guys talked about different things. It’s all part of the process.”
“It wasn’t an argument at all,” Durant said. “It wasn’t a disagreement. I felt like Draymond was emotional and something was bothering him, and he came to talk to me. He always can talk to me. I didn’t take it personal that he was using a raised voice. It wasn’t a fight. It was more he was voicing how he felt the game should be going. I agree with him. I agreed with him, and I had his back. I just told him to move on. It’s a long year, man. That stuff’s going to happen.”
Storyline: Durant-Green Dynamic
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Kevin Durant, James Harden back on good terms

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