The recent dust-up between Golden State Warriors’ stars Draymond Green and Kevin Durant has provided hope for the rest of the NBA. It gave other teams and their fanbases ( as well as sports media outlets something to talk about) a glimmer of encouragement that perhaps the end of the Warriors’ dynasty will come sooner than anticipated and not from defeat ,injuries, or even age but potentially from internal strife.
Granted anyone who played sports at a competitive level above middle school knows that teammates getting into tifs is commonplace, even the most heated ones usually are soon hashed out and forgotten in relatively short order. Such things happen all the time, particularly in professional sports and even take place on championship ballclubs. What has garnered this particular instance increased attention is the team on which it occurred- the two-time defending nba champ Golden State Warriors- and the principles involved- Draymond Green, who is known for his mercurial nature and Kevin Durant , who has been maligned by some since signing as a free agent with Golden State back in the summer of 2016.
It needs to be stated that this is not the first time these two have exchanged words on the court. Here is a couple of their run-ins:
Draymond ain't happy with KD pic.twitter.com/bc97cDJaZg
— Full Court Prez (@fullcourtprez) January 7, 2017
An additional differentiating aspect was what was reportedly said in the exchange; the fact that Draymond got suspended was a clear indication that this was far more severe than a mere argument. From my time in watching sports, discussing a teammate’s contract or counting his money was seen as sacrilege and by bringing up Durant’s impending free agency at the end of this season, Draymond committed one of the major no-no’s in team sports. This is the type of action that can go a long way towards tearing a team apart from within.
If that was not already bad enough, Draymond doubled down by allegedly repeatedly calling Durant a b—ch, reportedly saying, “you’re a b—ch and you know you are a b—ch.” Whether in the NBA or not, this is crossing the line as a man and that is a level of disrespect that if the offender does not have to answer for physically, could forge a rift in that relationship that can be impossible to repair. In a team setting, this can lead to dysfunction that can utterly demolish a squad, even one with goals that can only be attained by raising the Larry O’ Brien for a third consecutive season.
The entire incident revels deeply seated ill-will between this two ( or at least from Draymond towards KD) and whether this season ends with the Warriors becoming the first team since the Shaq and Kobe Lakers of the 2000’s to three-peat, this is the last of these Warriors we have seen over the past three seasons. One or both of them will likely not be with Golden State and it may become a reality sooner than we think.