Yesterday we learned that the Draymond Green-Kevin Durant beef may have been more than just about a basketball possession with reports Green challenged Durant on his 24/7 free agency buzz. Now, according to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, an anonymous player on the Golden State Warriors said there is “no way” Durant comes back next year:
"“With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back,” one player said. “The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.’ ”"
That is not just some random fan of the street pretending to know what Durant is thinking. That is someone who is around him each and every day. That quote is part of a larger piece about the incident and how it has affected the Warriors, and also includes Draymond Green reportedly accusing Kevin Durant “of making the whole season about him even though he was going to leave after this season.” It includes several references to Durant’s treatment of impending free agency causing “a low-key issue” and being a “small irritation” as players believe he could have addressed it and ended some of the drama.
The momentum had drastically shifted to Durant staying since the beginning of the season after several reports surfaced he could leave (highlighted by Chris Haynes saying the Knicks have a real shot). But whatever level that momentum had shifted to is now gone. It now feels like a betting man would be wise to wager on him playing elsewhere come October 2019.
What makes this anonymous quote not just telling, but damaging, it could very well upset the most thin-skinned player in the NBA. You are going to tell me Durant is not going to be bothered that one of his teammates is leaking to the media their thoughts on his situation?
Durant has it good in Golden State when it comes to guaranteed success, but as I have written about several times, he does not get the credit he deserves playing on Steph Curry’s team that won 73 games before him. Oh, and beat him. In fact, Thompson’s reporting includes Draymond Green also reportedly reminding Durant that they won without him.
Packaging that he could become the one who saves the NBA by leaving in the minds of many – yes, he cares about that – with this Green drama, it sure feels like Durant’s time in Golden State is nearing an end.
And to add fuel to fire, read his lips: