Kevin Durant’s time with the Golden State Warriors may not last beyond this season, following a sideline dust-up with Draymond Green.
The incident occurred on Monday night, after Green failed to get Durant the ball on the final play of regulation time against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Warriors failed to score and the Clippers won 121-116 in overtime.
Green received a one-game suspension from the club and multiple reports have surfaced alleging that Durant’s impending free agency had something to do with the exchange, and that the exchange may have cost the club a shot at holding onto Durant.
Some team-mates reportedly confronted Green in the locker room for his decision-making on the play, and the following day Green received a one-game suspension without pay from the team for ‘conduct detrimental to the team’.
He served the suspension on Tuesday night at home against Atlanta, forfeiting $120,000 in the process.
On Tuesday night, The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II reported that some people in the organisation believe the exchange could cost the team the shot at retaining Durant after this season.
“With what was said, there is already no way Durant is coming back,” one Golden State player reportedly told Thompson. “The only hope is that they can say this summer, ‘See, KD. We’ve got your back. We protected you from Draymond.'”
Following the final play in regulation on Monday, when Green grabbed a rebound and dribbled up the court before fumbling the ball in traffic at the top of the key, an upset Durant and Green exchanged heated words on the sideline.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers told reporters in comments published by ESPN: “We just felt like this rose to the level of acting the way that we did.
“That’s a decision that we have to make. I’m certainly involved in it, so is Steve (Kerr). … This was something that required the action that we decided upon.”
Speaking with the media on Tuesday, Durant would not divulge what was said between the two players.
“I’m going to keep that in house,” he said. “That’s what we do here.
“Obviously, I know you guys got a job to do but I’m not trying to get nobody no headlines.
“What happened, happened. We’re trying to move on, just trying to play basketball.”