Kevin Durant didn't solely leave the Golden State Warriors to sign with the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason because of a very public dressing down by former teammate Draymond Green. But that incident didn't help the Warriors chances of retaining the future Hall of Famer.
Thursday, Durant was asked whether a notable spat with Green at all impacted his thought process heading into free-agency this past offseason.
"A little bit - yeah, for sure," Durant said to Stephen A. Smith on ESPN's First Take.
Smith's co-host, Max Kellerman, followed up with Durant, asking if he wanted to delve into further detail.
"Yeah, I mean if your teammate talked to you that way, you would think about it a bit," Durant continued. "Like I said, we talked about it. But definitely [it played a role], I'm not gonna lie about it."
During an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November of 2018, Green reportedly called Durant a b---- multiple times, and was suspended after suggesting that the Warriors could still win a title even if Durant left in free-agency after the 2018-19 season.
Once upon a time, it was Green that called Durant from the parking lot of Oracle Arena after the Warriors lost Game 7 of the 2015-16 NBA Finals to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers and asked him to join the Warriors in free-agency. The Warriors, who had won an NBA record 73 regular season games that season, came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Western Conference Finals to defeat Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. But they ultimately blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals to James, Kyrie Irving and the Cavaliers.
In Durant's first two seasons in Golden State, the Warriors defeated James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, with Durant earning his first two rings and winning the NBA Finals MVP in each series. Durant wasn't able to play until Game 5 of the 2018-19 NBA Finals because of a calf injury, and his decision to return ultimately proved disastrous, as he tore his achilles. The Warriors were dethroned and denied a three-peat by Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors.
Ultimately, Durant, who won two NBA titles in three seasons in Golden State, just felt it was time to move on after the 2018-19 season.
"I just felt like I needed a switch. I feel like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head, and I feel like it was going to be the end no matter what, especially for that group. Shaun Livingston was retiring, Andre Iguodala was getting older, our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. So it was time for all of us to kind of separate."
Durant signed a four-year/$164.26 million free-agent contract with the Nets, teaming up with the aforementioned Irving and DeAndre Jordan. He said Thursday that he doesn't expect to play this season as he recovers from his injury.
Meanwhile, Livingston did retire, and the Warriors ultimately traded Iguodala, the 2014-15 NBA Finals MVP, to the Memphis Grizzles. In an attempt to re-tool, they signed D'Angelo Russell to a four-year/$117.33 million deal. The Warriors are off to a 1-3 start in 2019-20, and lost two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry to a broken left hand Monday. Five-time All-Star Klay Thompson is "unlikely" to play in 2019-20 after tearing his ACL in Game 6 of the NBA Finals last season.