Draymond Green’s one-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the team” came after he repeatedly called Kevin Durant a “bitch” in a verbal confrontation between the two stars during the Golden State Warriors’ loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo Sports first reported Green would be held out of Tuesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena before the Warriors announced the suspension without pay.
Durant called out Green in the huddle for not passing him the ball at the end of regulation in Monday’s game, which prompted Green to fire back at Durant, sources said. The organization is of the belief that Green cut too deep in his disagreement with Durant, sources said.
“Basketball is an emotional sport, these things happen, we dealt with it in the manner we thought fit, and so we’re going to move on,” GM Bob Myers said before Tuesday’s game. “… We just felt like this rose to the level of acting the way we did.”
Late in regulation of the eventual overtime loss to the Clippers, Green collected a rebound and ignored Durant’s call for the ball, instead dribbling upcourt into traffic and turning over the ball, which led to an argument with Durant that eventually spilled into the locker room after the game.
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.
Durant is expected to decline his player option for the 2019-20 season to hit free agency next summer, and the team desperately hopes to retain him.
Coach Steve Kerr said before the Hawks game that Durant’s possible free agency hasn’t affected the locker room.
“Not the slightest bit. Nobody ever talks about Kevin’s free agency. It doesn’t bother any of us. This is the NBA. There are guys that are either under contract or are upcoming free agents. It’s the business,” Kerr said. “We are focused on this year. I didn’t think anybody in our locker room or anyone on our coaching staff thinks twice about Kevin’s free agency this summer. … We are coaching this year and we are playing this year.”
As for Green’s late-game decision to keep the ball from Durant, Myers said he had no opinion on the matter.
“I don’t really care what happens,” Myers said. “This decision … in basketball you’re going to make right decisions, wrong decisions, I have no problem with what any of the players do. As far as what decision, coaches, players [make] … there’s a thousand decisions they make out there. So, I don’t get into this or that, as far as what he should or shouldn’t have done.”
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