Kevin Durant said Thursday that his highly publicized argument with former Warriors teammate Draymond Green was “definitely” part of the reason why he decided to leave Golden State and sign with the Nets as a free agent this summer.
Durant and Green were seen engaged in a heated argument in the huddle during a loss to the Clippers last November. Green, who was suspended one game by the Warriors as a result of the incident, reportedly called Durant a “b----” repeatedly and told Durant to leave the Warriors because the team had already won a championship without him.
Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, Durant said that he felt the argument led to increased scrutiny on the Warriors and on his looming free agency.
“I wish that wouldn’t have happened,” Durant said of the argument. “I feel like that was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere. For us, everybody [outside the organization] was looking for something to tear us down with and I think they used that.
“That just brought in a firestorm where every day it was about my free agency, every day was about my disposition as a player, what I look like on the bench, what I look like in the game. It opened up a lot of nonsense that could have been avoided. And me and Draymond talked about it.”
Asked more pointedly by Stephen A. Smith whether the dispute was a factor in his decision to leave for Brooklyn, Durant said, “A little bit, yeah. For sure.”
“I mean, your teammate talks to you that way, you think about it a little bit,” Durant continued. “Like I said, we talked about it. But definitely, for sure [it was a factor]. I’m not going to lie about it.”
The argument wasn’t the only reason for Durant’s departure, though.
“I just felt like I needed a switch,” Durant said. “I feel like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head. I felt like that was just going to be the end no matter what, especially for that group. Shaun Livingston was retiring. Andre Iguodala was getting older. Our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. It was time for all of us to kind of separate.”
Green is one of only a handful of players on this year’s Warriors team leftover from last season’s squad. Golden State is 1–3 on the season after losing to the Suns on Wednesday night. Stephen Curry broke his hand in the loss. Green said Sunday, after the Warriors dropped to 0–2 on the season, that the team “f---ing sucks right now.”