The Truth About Kevin Durant And Draymond Green's Feud

Despite professional sports players having camaraderie and a shared goal of winning, that doesn't mean they're always besties. Oftentimes, you'll hear about teammates arguing or even fighting physically behind the scenes. But other times, as in the case of Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, disagreements will happen in front of TV cameras — which causes concern for teammates and fans alike.

Green was selected to the Golden State Warriors in 2012 and is still there as of this writing. Durant, on the other hand, joined the Bay Area team in 2016, and he and Green seemed to have problems with each other from the start. It was evident due to their on-camera disputes and the interviews they gave. But what was at the core of their feuding?

Durant, being one of the NBA's best players, has been a big, bright shining star since entering the league, and when he joined the Warriors it was huge sports news. Meanwhile, Green has been Golden State's longtime "emotional leader," per Coach Steve Kerr, and a major piece to the very successful puzzle the organization has built. Was Durant's celebrity status and mere level of respect bothersome to Green? Did Durant believe that Green took his leadership role too far? We've uncovered the truth behind their much-talked-about feuding and how it began. It's all pretty juicy, so keep on reading.

Draymond let Kevin have it in a Grizzlies game

Draymond Green wanted to run a play, and Kevin Durant didn't. That's basically why Green was seen yelling at the 6'10" forward in a 2017 game against the Memphis Grizzlies. The play, or rather non-play, happened in the fourth quarter when the duo's Golden State Warriors were down by two points with a little over 32 seconds left in regulation. At one point, Durant is shown at half-court calling for the ball so he could make a play on his own.

Eventually, he was passed the ball, which frustrated Green, who punched the air with his fist. More than likely, Green would've been fine with Durant's call if he made the shot, but he didn't. Afterward, the Grizzlies called timeout, and Green walked off the court shaking his head. Moments later, he was captured yelling at Durant, who said very little in return.

The two slapped hands when they were done and everything seemed to be okay. But the argument birthed a narrative that the forwards weren't meshing well — mainly because it happened during Durant's first season with the Warriors while Green had already been there for several years. Later, more confrontations would occur between both men, but that was the first visible crack in their relationship before it would break into a million shattered pieces down the road. By the way, the Warriors lost that game to the Grizzlies in overtime 128-119 (via CBS Sports).

Draymond Green might've used yelling as a 'tactic'

Draymond Green isn't one to voice his frustrations quietly... at least not during a game. Just one month after he yelled at Kevin Durant in that Memphis Grizzlies match-up, he did it again while the Golden State Warriors faced the Sacramento Kings. It wasn't known what Green said to Durant, but we can assume it wasn't, "Hey, Kev, you're playing wonderfully!" Durant only scored 10 points that game, per ESPN, and went a dismal 2-of-10 from the field. But unlike when Green yelled at him in the Grizzlies game, Durant seemed to defend himself and got in Green's face while another teammate attempted to quell things.

Green spoke about the incident afterward, and while he refused to give details on the heated discussion, he suggested that the yelling was to help Durant. "If you can't [openly vent your frustrations], you're probably on a losing team. But everybody who makes a big deal out of it probably are losers. So, that's how I view it," Green told reporters (via ESPN). "Anyone who knows anything about winning knows that that's going to happen ... It was actually a tactic, but that's for us to know and everyone else to figure out."

Kevin and Draymond had a career-changing fight

So, if the arguments that Kevin Durant and Draymond Green had in 2017 caused worry among Golden State Warriors fans, then the blowup they had in 2018 must've left fans petrified. First, let's set the scene: It was the fourth quarter and the Warriors and the Clippers were tied at 106 with a little under four seconds left on the clock. Green rebounded a Clippers' miss and dribbled up the court. The thing is, Durant badly wanted the ball, which was evident by the way he aggressively clapped his hands. Durant has repeatedly been called one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, so it wasn't a ridiculous idea that he'd get the ball to attempt a winning shot.

After Green didn't pass him the ball, it got knocked away, making time run out, and forcing the game into overtime. Durant was visibly upset as he sat on the bench and yelled at Green, who screamed back at him ferociously. But things didn't end there, because it was reported that the explosion continued in the locker room. Green was later suspended for one game without pay for "conduct detrimental to the team," per the NBA

That should've been the end of the drama between both men, right? Wrong, because the argument followed both of them for a long while afterward, and it could be attached to their respective legacies when all is said and accounted for.

Kevin Durant refused to answer questions

Kevin Durant and Draymond Green don't only have two completely different styles of play; they have vastly different personalities. It's easy to tell by how they dealt with questions surrounding the argument they had in that Los Angeles Clippers game. Green, for one, had no problem with discussing it, but Durant showed that he felt the opposite way. As Green saw it, the argument would only make the Golden State Warriors a stronger and more resilient team.

"I think there's no secret that I am an emotional player. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I play with that same emotion. Sometimes it gets the best of me and it doesn't work to my favor. I am going to live with that, because it works in my favor to the good, as my resumé speaks, and this team's resumé speaks — more so than it doesn't," said Green in a video shared by ESPN. "So I am never going to change who I am. I am going to approach the game the same way that I always do. And like I said, we will continue to move forward."

Now, when it came to Durant answering reporters' questions about the fight, he was definitely, should we say, a little less expressive. "Don't ask me about that again," he sternly advised (via reporter Anthony Slater on Twitter). The Texas Longhorn would eventually open up about the infamous yelling match, but not until he was darn good and ready.

Draymond Green just wouldn't apologize at first

After Kevin Durant and Draymond Green argued in that Clippers match-up, Golden State Warriors executives immediately went into fix-it mode. In other words, they wanted Green to apologize to Durant, an obvious sign that they believed he committed the bulk of the wrongdoing. But guess what? Green refused to apologize or show any kind of contrition. At least not on his bosses' timetable. 

"Everyone wanted us to, or wanted me to, go to Kevin and say 'Hey, man, I'm sorry.' Everybody. Maybe Kevin ... Even our organization, I told them, 'No, I'm not doing that,'" Green told former ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols in 2019. Explaining his reasoning, Green continued, "First off, you need to let time do its job, and when the time is right, I'll feel that and it'll be genuine. But what I wasn't going to do is, I wasn't going to go to Kevin the next day and say 'I'm sorry' because everybody wanted me to."

Green also spoke about the argument on ESPN's "The Woj Pod" and revealed when remorse started to set in. "I never apologized to him until I came to grips with myself," he explained, adding that it wasn't about what was happening on the court. "I can kind of see a look in my brother's face that I have not seen. He's hurt. How do I fix that? And that was what bothered me more than anything." 

Kevin Durant said he stopped being angry about the fight

So, would the blowup between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant end up causing Durant to leave the Golden State Warriors for another team? That was the question floating around the Bay Area for a while as Durant was up for free agency at the close of the 2018-2019 season. But based on what he told Yahoo! Sports in 2018, Warriors fans didn't need to fret.

When asked if the argument would factor into his decision, Durant answered, "Nah. 'Cause at the end of the day, like, I'm just a ballplayer that's just trying to be hitting a great environment to play basketball and to grow my skills every day. And I want to compete at a level, once the game starts, where I'm just totally comfortable with my surroundings ... I was upset, but I know I can't hold on to something like this," he added. "I know, like, I've got to make a choice with myself, like, how long are you going to be upset about this?"

Durant followed that up by saying he refused to let the argument affect his play and how he approaches basketball overall. But after the future Hall of Famer talked about the argument again in 2019, one had to ask if he was being totally forthcoming in that Yahoo! Sports interview — he eventually left the Golden State Warriors and gave an entirely different answer about the fight affecting his decision.

He did an about-face

For a lot of people, it takes time to put a past argument into the proper perspective. It usually happens once emotions settle and one can get a little distance from the conflict. That seemed to be the case with Kevin Durant, because after saying that his fight with Draymond Green wouldn't factor into his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets, he said something else.

"Did that play a role in you leaving Golden State?" asked ESPN's Stephen A. Smith in 2019, referring to the argument. "A little bit. Yeah, for sure," said Durant, who suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in his last season with the Warriors. It happened in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. "I mean, your teammate talk to you that way, you'd think about it a bit," he continued. "We talked about it, but definitely for sure. I'm not going to lie about it."

Durant indicated that leaving was the only option for him, with tensions bubbling up from under the surface. "I just felt like I needed a switch," admitted the three-time Olympic gold medal winner. "I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head, and I felt like that was just going to be the end no matter what." Green would later say that Durant made a mistake by leaving Golden State. 

Kevin may have blocked Draymond's number

Kevin Durant had no qualms admitting that the war of words between him and Draymond Green in that Clippers game really upset him. But just how angry was he? What Green revealed to Carmelo Anthony on the "What's in Your Glass?" podcast should answer that question sufficiently.

"I think there was a time period of where he wasn't trying to say nothing to me. I think there was a time period where my number might have been blocked from his phone. There was a time period where I could only talk to him through Instagram DM," Green recalled. The 6'6" forward then explained that he didn't try to contact Durant in other ways. Instead, Green let him dictate how and when they'd communicate.

But with all of the talk surrounding the argument, what was actually said when Durant and Green were screaming at each other during the Clippers game? Green broke it all down in his 2020 interview on "All the Smoke" podcast. "He comes to the bench and he slaps the bench like, 'Yo! Pass me the f***ing ball' ... And I'm like, 'Get the f*** outta here, like, f***ing run then," Green explained, talking about Durant. "And he's like, 'You heard what the f*** I said' and slaps the chair ... I'm like, 'Yo, you better calm the f*** down. I don't know who the f*** you're talking to.'"

Draymond and Kevin hashed it out in front of cameras

After talking about their epic argument on different occasions, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green sat down with each other in front of cameras on Green's show for Bleacher Report, "Chips," to discuss it jointly in 2021. Now, the entire interview wasn't about their issues, since they also talked about Durant's younger years and other topics. But around the midway point of their conversation, Green asked him if their fight made him leave Golden State.

"It wasn't the argument, it was the way that everybody, Steve Kerr, acted like it didn't happen," Durant clarified. "[The Warriors General Manager] Bob Myers then tried to just discipline you and think that would put the mask over everything. I really felt like that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s*** all out."

Green talked about Myers as well and the other Golden State execs wanting him to apologize, saying their approach made things worse. He also talked about laughing after being told he'd be suspended for one game. "Bob said to me, 'Wow, that was not the reaction I was looking for or expecting,'" Green remembered. "And I said well, 'Either I'ma laugh in your face or cuss you the f*** out, so you pick and I'm going to choose laugh.'"

They had a back-and-forth on Twitter in 2022

With Kevin Durant and Draymond Green hashing out their differences, both behind the scenes and on camera, it would be easy to think that their days of bickering would be over. But that would be a wrong assumption. In May 2022, they had a back-and-forth on Twitter over something Green said on "The Colin Cowherd Podcast." 

Green was explaining why the Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry had never won a Finals MVP. At the time, Curry had three championship rings with the Warriors and won his fourth against the Boston Celtics a few weeks after Green's interview. Curry also received his first-ever Finals MVP after beating Jayson Tatum and crew. Green believed that Curry's lack of MVPs before beating the Celtics had to do with the type of defenses thrown at him in previous championship series. "Kevin Durant was absolutely incredible in those Finals runs," said Green "... Steph Curry got double-teamed probably seven times the amount that KD did in a given series ... These are real double teams ... This is elite teams throwing elite defenders at guys."

Durant disagreed, which started the Twitter exchange. "From my view of it, this is 100 percent false," he tweeted after a fan tagged him under the podcast clip. Then Green told him to watch his entire interview. "Oh I seen it my brethren, I appreciate the compliments but I disagree with what u said about double teams that's all," Durant tweeted, while also calling Green's theory a big fat lie.