In the waning seconds of the Golden State Warriors’ Nov. 12 matchup vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, with the score tied at 106, Warriors’ forward Draymond Green grabbed a rebound and dribbled up the court, ignoring pleas from his teammates to pass up the ball. Green ended up turning the ball over, forcing the game into overtime, where the Warriors ended up losing 121-116.
This whole debacle sparked fury and angst amongst some Warriors players, specifically between forwards Green and Kevin Durant. After Green’s costly turnover in the final seconds, Durant was visibly frustrated with Green and according to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Green repeatedly called Durant a “bitch” and “selfish,” while also mocking Durant’s looming free agency decision. Green was even suspended the next game for “conduct detrimental to the team."
Anonymous players and sources around the league believe that Green’s actions are potentially the final straw for Durant in Golden State. Many expect him to leave Golden State after this season in pursuit of a new team.
In a video caught by NBATV of Durant heading back onto the court for overtime, you can even read Durant’s lips mouthing the words, “That’s why I’m out." Although Durant has not committed to returning to Golden State after this season, he has not expressed interest elsewhere.
The debacle with Green during the Clippers’ loss has just made the tension between Durant and his future with the Warriors all the more interesting, sparking up more waves of debates and ideas of how this can all play out.
NBA fans and players alike have been wondering when and how the first blow to the Golden State dynasty, which has accumulated four consecutive conference titles and three championships over the past five years, will be dealt; and we very well be witnessing right now.
Center Demarcus Cousins, guard Klay Thompson, and Durant can head to a new team after this season, and Green could demand a maximum extension. Golden State will not be able to retain a handful of their superstars, especially considering the maximum extension they handed guard Stephen Curry before this season.
Thompson is reportedly “not interested in taking a discount." Durant is still an elite player in the league and feels like he should be paid like one. And with the tension surrounding Green and Durant, he likely is not interested in taking another pay cut to bring Durant back on board.
The window of opportunity for teams across the league, including the Los Angeles Lakers and the Houston Rockets, can become exponentially larger pending Golden State’s personnel decisions.
The feud between Durant and Green can be the fatal symbolization of the downfall of the dynasty that has essentially ruled this league over the past four or so years. Sure, they’ll probably make it back to the NBA Finals this year, but after that, Golden State’s future is as questionable as its been for the past five seasons, allowing fans and players alike a chance to take a breath of fresh air.