- Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.
Kevin Durant and Draymond Green both blamed Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and team president/general manager Bob Myers for mishandling the fallout from the players’ argument that ultimately contributed to Durant leaving the team following the 2018-19 season.
In an interview posted Wednesday on Bleacher Report, Durant and Green both said they believed that Kerr and Myers were at fault for the way they handled the players’ emotional back-and-forth on the floor that spilled over into the locker room after an overtime loss to the LA Clippers at Staples Center on Nov. 12, 2018.
During the first episode of his new series “Chips,” Green asked Durant how much that argument played a part in his decision to leave the Warriors.
“It wasn’t the argument,” Durant told Green. “It was the way that everybody — Steve Kerr — acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you [Green] and think that would put the mask over everything.”
Green, who was ultimately suspended by the Warriors for the following game for his role in the argument, said he spoke to Warriors management after flying back to the Bay Area following the Clippers game and then again the following morning. He said he had a message for Myers and Warriors management when the group asked him to apologize to Durant.
“‘Y’all are about to f— this up,'” Green said he told them. “I said, ‘The only person that can make this right is me and K [Durant]. And there is nothing that y’all can do, and y’all are going to f— this up.’ And in my opinion, they f—ed it up.” Responded Durant: “I think so too.”
While Durant and Green appeared to get over the incident in the next couple of weeks, the uncomfortable nature of the public incident, combined with the fact that players and coaches were repeatedly asked about it in almost every city they traveled, hovered over the organization all season.
It is hardly the first time that Green has addressed the team’s reaction to his argument with Durant. In 2019, he and Myers discussed the incident, the fallout and their relationship during a joint interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod.
Durant, who tore his Achilles during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets after the season ended. The Warriors have missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons since Durant left.
As Green did in previous interviews, Durant noted that he saw parallels between the Warriors’ situation and the Chicago Bulls’ breakup while watching “The Last Dance.”
“I remember watching ‘The Last Dance,’ and when Scottie [Pippen] didn’t go into the game, the whole team in the locker room said, ‘Scottie, that was f—ed up that you did that.’ We needed that. We just needed to throw all of that s— on the table and say, ‘Yo Dray, K, that was f—ed up that we even had to go through that.’
“Let’s just wipe our hands with that and go finish the task. … I didn’t think we did that. We just tried to dance around it. I just didn’t like, just the vibe between all of that, it just made s— weird to me.”
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