NBA superstar Kevin Durant has revealed that he was set on a course away from the Golden State Warriors as early as last November, after a dust up for a former teammate.
The 10-time NBA All-Star moved to the Brooklyn Nets in the off-season but in an interview with ESPN’s Steve A. Smith, the injured star admitted the beat up with former teammate Draymond Green in November.
Playing the LA Clippers, Durant and Green had a vicious clash labelled “one of the most intense” moments in the franchise’s recent history, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski at the time.
Stream up to 7 games each week of the 2019/20 NBA Season plus the All-Star Weekend with ESPN on KAYO. Get your 14-day free trial>
With Stephen Curry out injured, and with scores tied, three-time All-Star Green grabbed a rebound and turned it over as time expired, instead of passing to Durant.
Green and Durant had to be separated on the bench by teammates and eventually lost in overtime. The argument reportedly went to the locker rooms as well.
It led to a frosty back and forth between Durant and reporters before the now former Warrior said “What happened happened, we just trying to move on and play some basketball”.
While it’s long been suspected that the dust up was the impetus for the move, the star addressed in the interview with Smith.
As well as revealing he would be out for the entire season with the ruptured achilles and defending Kyrie Irving from media attacks that he’s a “problem” for the Brooklyn Nets, Durant said the fight started him on the path to leaving the side.
He said the blow up saw definitely played a role in the move, with the admission seeming to take the commentators by surprise.
“I mean, your teammate talked to you that way, you think about it a bit,” he said. “But we talked about it, but definitely (it was a factor), for sure, I’m not going to lie about it.”
Asked to clarify why he eventually left the Warriors, Durant said he “just felt like I needed a switch.”
“I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head,” he said. “I felt 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 start for the team and put us in a hole to get other players.
“It was time for all of us to separate.”
While it wasn’t the only decision, it was a big moment with Durant admitting it was “a situation that could have been avoided”.
“Draymond knew that he was out of line,” Durant said. “As men, we talked about it and everybody around tried to get us to mend it fast because of the season and we wanted to win. But he had his process on how he wanted to handle it and I had my process and eventually we came together.”
Green spoke about the incident earlier this month as well, admitting on ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski podcast The Woj Pod that it was his fault.
“I just had to accept the fact that I was wrong,” Green said on the podcast. “And once I was able to get over my stubbornness and accept the fact that I was wrong, I was able to move on. I lost (Durant’s) trust. How do I get that back? Not so we can win a championship or we can win some games … but I actually loved this guy, like that’s really my brother. And so not knowing what’s next in our relationship bothered me more.”
SHOCKING VIDEO OF FAN PUNCHING COACH
Vision of a shocking attack on an NBA coach has emerged after New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach Joe Boylan was punched on the sidelines at the end of a game against the Houston Rockets.
The match was last weekend but the assistant coach was seemingly felled by an unprovoked punch which knocked him to the ground.
Manuel Garcia, 38, was charged with misdemeanour assault for the incident, with his girlfriend also charged for allegedly preventing police from getting to him.
Prosecutors in Houston reportedly don’t know why Garcia made the decision to sock an unsuspecting Boylan, who fell to the ground after the punch.
The Rockets banned Garcia for life and he could be facing up to a year in jail, according to TMZ.
“The Rockets won the game. Then one of the assistant coaches for the New Orleans Pelicans was gathering his things and was essentially cold-cocked or blindsided and struck in the face, brutally in my view,” Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s Nathan Beedle told the local ABC-affiliate.
Beedle also said it’s not Garcia’s first run in with the law.
“He is a convicted felon on probation right now charged with a Class A assault of a defenceless person in the case.”
— with New York Post
AUSSIE ‘SORRY’ FOR CURRY INCIDENT
Aussie NBA star Aron Baynes has wished Steph Curry a speedy recovery after inadvertently falling on the Golden State star, saying he never wants to have a part in hurting another player.
Australian centre Baynes fell on top of Curry in the third quarter of the Phoenix Suns’ 121-110 NBA win over the Warriors, with Curry forced from the court with what was later confirmed as a broken left hand.
The Warriors are already without their other champion guard Klay Thompson due to a long-term ACL injury, and the loss of Curry will come as another huge blow to a team that has now lost three of their opening four NBA games this season.
It was an eventful match for Baynes, who scored 24 points including a game-high 13 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots in the Suns’ 11-point victory.
“I feel sorry for what happened to Steph,” the 32-year-old told reporters after the game.
“It was unfortunate. I never want to see someone go down and get hurt, let alone be a part of it. Best wishes to him and hopefully (he makes) a speedy recovery and comes back better.
“I haven’t seen it back yet. All I know is that I tried to take a charge and that was all it was.”