SAN FRANCISCO – Draymond Green said he believes nothing has changed in his relationship with the Warriors front office, which he publicly criticized last month when hosting a podcast with former teammate Kevin Durant as the guest.
Both Green and Durant, who engaged in a very public quarrel in November 2018, concluded the team’s management bungled the response to the potentially disruptive incident.
On Thursday, in his first appearance at training camp, Green expressed no regret and seemed unclear on why there might be any concern about his relationship with coach Steve Kerr, president Bob Myers and CEO Joe Lacob.
“Why would it?” Green asked.
Perhaps because in the Aug. 18 podcast, Draymond and KD put team business in the streets. Or maybe because comments critical of management could plant a seed of negativity in the minds of teammates. Or, possibly, because Kerr and Myers thought they had addressed the incident and were blindsided by the idea that, as Green and Durant concluded on the podcast, they tried to downplay it or completely botched it.
“How is the relationship? I don’t know,” Green said. “I don’t think it’s any different than it was before. As far as blaming someone, I wouldn’t necessarily say I blamed anyone. I kind of just told my side of the story.”
Though Warriors management has grown accustomed to Draymond’s highly opinionated and occasionally belligerent rhetoric, league sources indicate the team’s management likely will engage the three-time All-Star in conversation.
Asked Thursday about his reaction to the podcast, Kerr said it’s an “internal” matter but indicated it might be addressed.
Asked about the podcast during Media Day on Monday, Myers expressed no concern.
“I haven't seen it, but you certainly can't live and not hear about it,” he said. “I just don't watch a lot of things, but I heard about it for sure. It didn't really bother me. I have a great history with Draymond. I have a great relationship with him and I look at Kevin and Draymond, for that matter, as two unbelievable players. I really like both guys, love talking to them, being around them. They helped our team and our organization - Draymond three and Kevin two championships.
“It's going to take a lot more than that for me to really be bothered by it.”
The initial incident took place on Nov. 12, 2018. When Green grabbed the rebound with about four seconds remaining, Durant vociferously demanded the ball. Green kept it but was unable to manufacture a shot. Both players squabbled for all to see, with teammates intervening. The Warriors lost in overtime.
The next day, having met with the players, Warriors management, considering Green the instigator, slapped him with a one-game suspension.
Green believes that was a mistake, saying on the podcast that in his opinion, “they f--ked it up.” Durant agreed.
“Was I publicly called out?” Green said, apparently referring to his suspension. “Did it affect the relationship then?”
Probably. But that’s something none of the principals have acknowledged.
There is no knowing for sure whether the suspension put a sour ingredient to the relationship, nor as there any way, at this point, to know if Draymond’s blast at the front office will have any lingering effect.
It’s likely, though, that the involved parties will have a clear-the-air conversation in the coming days or weeks.