The argument over the ball between Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Kevin Durant didn’t just carry over from the court into the huddle between regulation and overtime of their loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. It spilled into the locker room in what ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears described as “one of the most intense [exchanges] of this Warriors era.”
The heated exchange never turned physical, per ESPN, but it did reportedly escalate when Green defended his decision not to pass to one of the game’s greatest scorers for the final possession. Multiple Warriors questioned Green’s thought process afterwards, Wojnarowski and Spears reported.
After a Klay Thompson scoring surge helped the Warriors erase a 14-point deficit in a span of five minutes late in the fourth quarter, Green grabbed a rebound with five seconds remaining and dribbled into a sea of Clippers defenders at midcourt, only to lose the ball and a chance to win in regulation.
Durant could be seen demanding the ball for the entirety of that final possession, and an argument before overtime ended with notorious peacemaker DeMarcus Cousins separating Green from the huddle. The Clippers eventually won, 121-116, and the debate reportedly raged on in the locker room.
Subplot in #Warriors loss to #Clippers: bad blood between #KD and Draymond. Had to be separated in huddle going into OT. “Just pass the damn ball” says KD after Draymond fumbles ball at end of regulation. #NBA pic.twitter.com/a0JcKKOZhn
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) November 13, 2018
This comes with the territory when Green is on the roster. Arguments between the three-time All-Star and his teammates have become an annual occurrence. During a locker-room tirade at halftime of a February 2016 game, he reportedly threatened to leave if they didn’t involve him more in the offense. In an on-court argument a year later, Green was miffed that Durant wasn’t willing to take the last shot.
So, which is it, fellas? The only certainty here is that Green will get into another argument.
Much will be made about this exchange, especially with whispers growing louder about the possibility of Durant leaving in 2019 free agency. But it’s important to remember the history here: The Warriors capped a record-setting 73-win campaign after Green’s 2016 tirade, then added Durant (thanks to a phone call from Green to the former MVP from the parking lot after the Finals), and those two have won two titles together since their 2017 on-court spat. This is how they operate. But the fact that the organization was still sorting through Monday’s debate a day later is of slightly greater concern.
Sources: In midst of verbal exchange on court late in Monday's game, Draymond Green challenged Kevin Durant about Durant's impending free agency. As teammates came at Green about his turnover, he responded. This has been a simmering issue for the Warriors today.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 13, 2018
Is there a point where Durant gets so tired of Green’s antics that he leaves the franchise? Does Green get so sick of being a fourth option behind features Durant, Thompson and Stephen Curry that he stirs the pot to that boiling point? It’s hard to imagine this exchange will be a deciding factor if they raise a third consecutive banner and stare immortality in the face come July, but maybe these arguments compound on each other if they fall short in June. At least, that’s what the rest of the NBA is hoping.
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