Warriors: Kevin Durant’s free agency an ‘Elephant in the Room’ per Draymond Green

Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Warriors (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

With the NBA’s suspended season, Draymond Green hopped on a podcast to discuss the Golden State Warriors’ feelings toward Kevin Durant’s looming free agency in the 2018/19 season.

The Chicago Bulls documentary “The Last Dance” premiered this past Sunday. And Draymond Green sees a lot of similarities with that team, who went for their last title in the 1997-98 season, and his team that was in the NBA Finals last year.

The current Golden State Warriors have a few links to Michael Jordan’s Bulls. The big one is Steve Kerr.

He’s the physical constant present in both franchises’ success. But both teams were virtually unstoppable during their dominance and the Warriors even beat the Bulls record for wins in a season by a single game.

The biggest difference between those two teams, according to Green, is that the Bulls knew that this was the end of their run, as referenced in the documentary.

The Warriors weren’t so sure, because Kevin Durant refused to give a straight answer in either direction. And it was something that loomed over them all season.

Green hopped on the Uninterrupted’s WRTS: After Party podcast with Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera to talk about the situation with Kevin Durant in the most detail that anyone has given since the whole thing went down.

"“Phil had told them this was the last dance. Mike already said, ‘Well, if Phil ain’t coming back next year, I’m not either.’ So everybody knew it was Mike’s last year. They didn’t have that elephant. Whereas I think we had a huge elephant sitting in the room, and Steve was trying to address it as best as he could, but it was kind of out of his hands.”“Klay was saying, ‘I want to be a Warrior forever. I want to be here. We started this thing. This is where I want to be.’ I’m saying, ‘Yo, I want to be here for my career. We started this, we built this, I want to finish my career here with the guys I started it with.’ And then you kind of had Kevin, like, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do next year, and it don’t matter.’ But it does matter, because you’re not the only person that has to answer that question.”"

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It’s a tough situation to be in, especially when you take Kevin Durant’s perspective into account. He’s said numerous times that he genuinely didn’t know what he wanted to do after that season. You can’t give a straight answer if you don’t know.

But at the same time, you’ve gotta know how that’s going to affect your teammates and the organization. We aren’t talking about the 15th man on the roster. We’re talking about Kevin Durant.

This team was already a powerhouse. But then he got there and maintained his status as being the best player on the best team.

The fact that he didn’t have an answer about the future is something that would make any organization sweat.

Everyone’s gotta understand that. I don’t know that it’s as black and white as Draymond thinks it is. If Kevin didn’t know, he didn’t know. There’s not much he could have done about it.

But I do think he could have been more vocal to his teammates, though. Kevin’s a quiet guy. When you add that to the elephant in the room, it just compounds the uncertainty.

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All that boiled over in that game against the Los Angeles Clippers early in their last season when Draymond Green blew up at Kevin Durant at the end of the game.

It was our first time seeing that there was a rift in the locker room, but it seems like it was there long before that. Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end.

You can’t question Durant’s heart, though. That man came back from an injury to try and leave it all on the floor for this team and wound up getting a more serious and career-threatening injury after the fact. You can’t deny that he gave it his all for this team.

Kevin is just someone who lives in the present. He’s always been that way. But living in the present is an idealist way of living when you’re the best player on the best team and your contract is up after this season. At the very least, you’ve gotta understand how that affects the minds of those around you.

It’s kind of wild. I don’t think anyone expected to hear this from someone like Draymond so soon after it happened. Usually, players keep their perspectives about certain things to themselves.

Why do you think we’re just now getting a documentary about the Chicago Bulls more than 20 years since that championship team broke up?

But these aren’t normal times that we find ourselves in. With COVID-19 shutting down everything and forcing people to stay home, there’s not a lot left for us all to do. And “The Last Dance” documentary is causing a lot of athletes to get introspective.

I’m sure this isn’t the last time we hear about this rift between the Warriors and Kevin Durant. Hell, he just said the other day that he didn’t like how the media favored Stephen Curry so much.

There’s clearly a lot of unresolved tension between everyone on how everything went down. I can’t wait until we get the Golden State Warriors documentary in a few decades titled “Ruin The Game,” where we hear all of this from everyone in the organization’s perspective.

Next. Warriors: Grading 2019 NBA Draft class’ rookie seasons. dark

I’ll be there with my popcorn.