After much anticipation leading up to Sunday night, 6.1 million people tuned in to watch “The Last Dance” docu-series on ESPN. “The Last Dance” focuses on Michael Jordan and the Bull’s final championship run in 1997-98, specifically the multiple controversies that surrounded the team and the chain of events that led up to the tension-filled end of a dynasty. Many players, both current and former, have weighed in on their own streaming platform and/or social media with their thoughts and reactions after watching the first two episodes of the series. Draymond Green chose this opportunity to revisit several unresolved issues he had with how his former teammate, Kevin Durant, handled his final season in Golden State before leaving in the off-season to join the Brooklyn Nets.
Green: Durant not addressing one-year deal was “the elephant in the room”
Draymond Green, never one to hold back in a public forum, joined Uninterrupted with Paul Riveria and Maverick Carter for an “After Party” show to discuss his thoughts on the first two episodes of “The Last Dance,” ironically comparing the Bull’s scenario in 1997-98 to GSW’s final year with Kevin Durant. Green believes that the tension in the Warriors locker room began shortly after KD signed a one-year deal with Golden State, giving him the flexibility to leave in the off-season.
While Green had no problem with the deal itself, he took issue with the way Durant handled himself from not sharing his intentions with teammates to being extremely quiet with the media. Green alludes to Durant’s unwillingness to speak up and say “this is it” or “this isn’t it” in regards to his future with the team as “the elephant in the room.” While Draymond and Klay Thompson were declaring their allegiance to Golden State for the foreseeable future to the media, Green explains “you kind of had Kevin like I don’t know what I’m going to do next year and it doesn’t matter but it DOES matter because you’re not the only person that has to answer that question. And to be quite frank with you, you’re honestly the last person that had to answer the question because you don’t really say sht. Like you don’t say much to the media if anything you tell them to shut the f#k up!” Green also goes as far as to say the 97-98 Bulls didn’t have that same elephant in the room among teammates that the Warriors did. See video of the quote below:
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) April 21, 2020
When you point a finger at someone, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is the last we will hear from Draymond Green on the subject matter. While Durant, Steph, and Klay have done a great job of moving on and not discussing the matter publicly, it seems as though Draymond Green still harbors resentment towards Durant, and his main takeaway from “The Last Dance” is that the Warriors never reached their full potential due to Durant’s own actions.
Now did Durant’s actions absolve Draymond from losing his cool and screaming at Durant in on the bench at the end of regulation against the Clippers on November 13th in 2018? Green was the one who made the “elephant in the room” public. Green was the one who called out Durant to the media. And as much as he hates to acknowledge it, Green’s actions played a major role in Durant not signing back with Golden State the following year, thus ending the Warriors dynasty. If Draymond had handled himself differently, would KD have resigned with the Warriors?
The results speak for themselves. During Durant’s tenure with Golden State, they went to 3 straight finals, winning two out of three. Durant was the best player on the team for those three years. One hopes that once Draymond is able to let go of his grudge against KD, he can look back on their years together as special, and realize that he could have possibly handled himself differently as well.
P.S. Happy 22nd Birthday to Jarrett Allen!