OAKLAND -- Fully aware of frequent replays on video, Draymond Green freely admitted to having a heated exchange with Warriors teammate Kevin Durant last Saturday in Sacramento.
“It was actually (about) a tactic,” Green said Tuesday, hinting at the reason voices were raised in the middle of a game. “But that’s for us to know and everyone else to figure out.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr also made no attempt to dodge the emotional moment.
What both men say, and insist, is that there is no fire behind the smoke -- and that, really, there was barely a puff of smoke.
“KD and Draymond are best of friends and they’re together every night, laughing and joking,” Kerr said. “So when something happens on the floor, I don’t even bat an eye. It’s just competitive, heat-of-the-moment stuff.
“We played an awful game. I coached an awful game. It was a bad night for all of us, so there was plenty of that to go around. I don’t even think twice about any of it.”
The Warriors were beaten in most every phase in Sacramento, and the loss snapped a 13-game Warriors win streak over the Kings.
Yet much of the discussion focused on what was seen of Green and Durant. Green turned the tables on media, which took note of incident and turned it into a three-day talking point.
“It used to be funny,” he said of reports suggesting drama within the team. “At this point, it’s just ridiculous. Yeah, I guess it is funny, people making fools out of themselves. But we kind of sit and laugh at it, everyone else together.”
To be sure, the Green-Durant tiff obscured several other moments of expressed frustration between teammates.
There was a moment between Andre Iguodala and Green, another between Iguodala and, from the looks of it, James Michael McAdoo. There was, based on body language, general irritation with some of Klay Thompson’s shot selection as well as Green’s decision-making.
“We had all kinds of arguments that game,” Kerr conceded. “It’s totally normal.”
What was not normal, though, was the public nature, that the Warriors would so visibly display their displeasure with each other.
It’s necessary for growth, suggested Green. Family disagreements happen, and some of these spilled out onto the sidewalk. As long as they’re purposeful and coming from the right place, the Warriors seem to be saying, dissent is healthy.
“It’s constructive,” said co-captain Stephen Curry. “We try to understand how we’re going to get better. It comes from a place of respect between everybody on this team, including those two guys (Green and Durant).
“Nobody takes anything personally. Nobody goes home and cries about it. Everybody wants to win. And in that moment, it might get heated. It might happen in front of cameras. It might happen in the locker room. It might happen in practice. It might be a phone call, offline or whatever. Those kinds of conversations need to happen so that we continue to try to get better and challenge each other to not get complacent.”
Green, it must be known, is not one to bite his tongue. He’s prone to flareups. He’s also willing to listen.
He’s a clear-the-air kind of dude, and he’s not going to change. The Warriors, coaches and players, don’t want him to.
“If you’ve got to hide something from one of your teammates, and you can’t say something to somebody, you’re in a bad situation,” Green said. “And me, personally, I don’t want to be in that situation.
“If you’re on a team where you can’t talk, where there are moments that you need to yell at each other, maybe that yelling is to get each other going . . . you don’t know what that is. And no one else knows what that is. If there is a team like that, please make sure I’m on the first thing smoking out of there. Because that team ain’t for me.”