It was only a matter of time before Draymond Green, serial provocateur, angered his own team and not just the opposing one.
The fight Monday night (Tuesday AEDT) between the two star Warriors forwards, Green and Kevin Durant, extended not just to the sideline but to the locker room in a blowup that witnesses told ESPN was one of the most intense of this Super-Warriors era.
????????? RT @Ballislife: Kevin Durant & Draymond Green get into a heated exchange after Draymond failed to get a shot off at the end of regulation during the Warriors loss to the Clippers. pic.twitter.com/8X4hUSfsE1— Graci Lou Freebush (@Nelzzzzz32)
According to The Athletic, Durant’s impending free agency was referenced by Green. It apparently got so bad that Green is suspended without pay for Golden State’s game Wednesday (AEDT) against the Hawks, according to ESPN.
Sources: In midst of verbal exchange on court late in Monday’s game, Draymond Green challenged Kevin Durant about Durant’s impending free agency. As teammates came at Green about his turnover, he responded. This has been a simmering issue for the Warriors today.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania)
While the battle did not become physical, it was heated as teammates sided with Durant, angry with Green for not passing the ball (and losing it on the dribble) in the closing seconds of a 106-106 game with the Clippers, which became an overtime loss.
According to the report, Green, as is his wont, did not back down, arguing his own case for bringing the ball down the court after a rebound and not passing to Durant, who yelled afterwards on the bench, “Pass the damn ball.” Durant had been calling for the ball as Green brought it across.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn)
Warriors officials reportedly were working to cool heads on a team that has won three titles in four years and back-to-back championships with Durant — who can be a free agent after the season.
“Just team spirit,” Warriors guard Shaun Livingston told reporters about the feud. “Team spirit. Guys wanted a different outcome than what happened. Obviously, Dray had the turnover, guys might have thought they were open or wanted the basketball, didn’t get it. Things happen like that in sports. But it was good to see some fire, some emotion.”