Relationships involving Warriors players, management, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant have all been impacted after Monday's locker room incident.
Golden State Warriors management thought Draymond Green calling Kevin Durant a "b----" multiple times during their argument on Monday night was too cruel to be ignored and led to his suspension for Tuesday's game, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic reports.
According to The Athletic, Green was surprised by the one-game suspension. He was only expecting a fine for his behavior during and after Monday's overtime loss to the Clippers because he thought this exchange on the sideline and in the locker room was not as problematic as his infamous February 2016 locker-room blowup at coach Steve Kerr during a road game in Oklahoma City.
Green was reportedly upset by the way Durant chided him for his decision during the last play of regulation in Los Angeles. The 2012 second-round pick brought up his and the Warriors' previous successes prior to Durant's arrival as defense for his decision to bring the ball up with time running out in the fourth quarter instead of giving it to Durant.
In addition to the profane insult Green repeatedly tossed at Durant, the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year also called out the two-time Finals MVP over his impending free agency. Green accused Durant of trying to make the entire season about his future and whether or not he will remain with Golden State.
The Warriors players are reportedly prepared for Durant's departure this summer and would prefer to not have to deal with questions and rumors about it. This all comes with Klay Thompson set to hit the open market this summer as well, and Green set to be a free agent in 2020, but both with expectations of working out new deals with Golden State.
Thompson was the player who reportedly calmed down the locker room bickering on Monday by reminding the team they are all in it together to win a third straight championship and by saying no team could beat them, they could only beat themselves. Durant was reportedly silently seething while the rest of the team was squabbling over the events that just occurred.
The relationships between Green and Durant; Green and management; and Durant and his teammates have all reportedly been damaged by what transpired Monday along with the decision to essentially back Durant in the argument by suspending Green for a game and the way some believe Durant has fanned the flames around his upcoming free agency. Because of how aggressive Green's attack of Durant was, one player told The Athletic he's worried Green may have lost his authority in the locker room.
"With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back," one player told The Athletic. "The only hope is that they can say this summer, 'See, KD. We've got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'"
Another player on the team told The Athletic that he believes Green and Durant will find a way to work out their issues because neither player wants to be looked at as the reason the Warriors don't claim another Larry O'Brien Trophy next June.
Durant told reporters Tuesday he was going to keep the situation "in-house," adding, "we're trying to move on—just play basketball."
The Warriors won their game Tuesday against the Hawks without the suspended Green or the injured Stephen Curry, who reportedly met with each other on Tuesday to discuss what happened. Green told Curry about his frustrations regarding Durant's free agency, and he also shared his thoughts with Kerr and general manger Bob Myers during their meeting Tuesday where he learned of his suspension.
Golden State is now 12-3 on the season and next plays Thursday in Houston in a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals against the Rockets.