Durant and Simmons also touched on statistics and the Warriors All-Star spoke at length about his hatred of advanced analytics. “All your blog boys and your fanboys that’s gonna use everything I say and create an article—watch a basketball game,” Durant said. “How about you write that. I just want to say that, because all these guys are gonna write articles and get real mad about what I said tonight … they’re gonna put their emotions into it. It’s not about you. Watch a basketball game. Enjoy the game. Stop worrying about me so much. I just wanted to say that. You can’t look at numbers first and then watch. (People) are lazy. They don’t want to watch games. It’s too long, it’s too hard to watch a game. There’s a bunch of coaching vultures in the game right now. It’s a bad place.’
To most watching that nationally televised game in January, the stoppage 14 seconds in seemed out of place. It marked the quickest timeout in an NBA game in almost three years, according to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group. But to Green, it was nothing new. He’s come to expect this sort of thing from Gregg Popovich, who’s called more abrupt timeouts than anyone in recent years — in some cases to shout at Green specifically.
It’s precisely that kind of talk that makes it hard for me to imagine him never working in the NBA again. How can someone who loves basketball that much, who highlights the community/family aspect as the very thing that “makes sports not ephemeral” and “makes it matter,” give up his dream to go invest in someone else’s? I asked him to explain it to me so many times that I lost track. Then I called him late last week to ask one more time. I expected him to pause and think about it. He didn’t. “I feel incredibly blessed already,” he replied. “I made a bunch of decisions to try to build something bigger than myself, and I knew that had lots of downside risk associated with it.” He made it sound like some of us might be more broken up about him staying gone for good than he would. “I got comfortable with that trade-off a long time ago.”