When Kevin Durant and Draymond Green had a verbal altercation in the closing minutes of regulation of the Golden State Warriors’ overtime loss to the LA Clippers, it looked like the Lakers might actually have a better chance at signing Durant than previously thought.
The Lakers were immediately named the favorites to land Durant by Las Vegas oddsmakers, and it seemed as though Lakers fans’ dreams of seeing Durant leave the purple and gold’s biggest competition in the conference and take his talents South to join LeBron James on the beach might not be a pipe dream after all.
Well, Durant told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports that he has some bad news for those people: He says his spat with Green isn’t going to affect his free agency.
“Nah, [it won’t factor],” Durant told Yahoo Sports on Tuesday. “Because at the end of the day, I’m just a ballplayer that’s just trying to be in a great environment to play basketball and groom my skills every day. And I want to compete on a level that once the game starts, I’m just totally comfortable with my surroundings, with just going out there and being me.”
No, seriously, Durant says to relax on projecting any certainty that he’s leaving Golden State, because he’s used to Green’s fiery personality. He also thinks the media blew things out of proportion:
“I never really felt like it was a problem, because I know Dray and he says some crazy [expletive] out his mouth all the time,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “But on top of that, it was just that there was so much coming with it from the outside, and so much stuff that we have to answer now.”
All right everyone, close out photoshop. Stop putting Durant and James in Lakers jerseys. Everything is fine.
Okay, maybe just one more:
But seriously, Durant probably has a point. Stuff like this happening publicly does lead to more drama, because now not only did one of the best players on the best team in the world reportedly call their star teammate “a b**ch” repeatedly — a problem in its own right — but now they and their teammates have to answer questions about it. Plus, people are assuming it means Durant is leaving and doing things like this.
With all due respect, though, it’s easy for Durant to say this now. It’s also the right thing to say. We won’t truly know whether or not Green’s (seemingly) fraying relationship with Durant will leave Durant wanting to play elsewhere. It could, or it could not, and anyone claiming to know which right now is full of it. July is a long way off, and Durant and Green could mend fences by then, or maybe this slight festers and Durant leaves because of it.
Basically, this revelation doesn’t rule the Lakers out, even if they’re candidacy to sign Durant is looking ever so slightly dicier today than it did last week.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.