Warriors

Durant defuses situation with Draymond: 'Wasn’t an argument at all'

Durant defuses situation with Draymond: 'Wasn’t an argument at all'

OAKLAND -- Don’t get it twisted, says Kevin Durant. The reaction on social media far exceeded any actual drama between he and Warriors teammate Draymond Green.

The animated discussion late Friday night between Durant and Green, which began trending late in a 128-119 loss to Memphis, was much less a sign of dissension than a matter of men clearing the air in public.

Green was, according to Durant, spreading truth in his typically demonstrative way.

“He’s an emotional guy,” Durant said Saturday after video review and practice. “It wasn’t an argument at all. It wasn’t a disagreement. I felt like Draymond was emotional and something was bothering him, and he came and talked to me. He always can talk to me. I didn’t take it personally that he was using loud tones. That’s just how he is.

“But it wasn’t a disagreement, or it wasn’t a fight. It was more so he was voicing on how he felt the game should’ve been going. And I agreed with him. I agreed with him, and I had his back and I just told him to move on to the next play.

“It’s a long year, man. That stuff is going to happen.”

The Warriors were leading the Grizzlies 111-109, with 20.6 seconds remaining, when Green confronted Durant after a timeout. The previous possession ended with Durant, isolated against lumbering Memphis big man Zach Randolph, taking and missing a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

That’s not what the situation called for, according to Green and others. The pick-and-roll had been successful most of the night, and it was there between Stephen Curry and Durant.

When Durant went away from it, Green not only explained that he shouldn’t have but also why he shouldn’t have.

“That was on me,” Durant said. “I felt I had a matchup that I liked.

“I should’ve let Steph set the screen for me and go from there. But it’s a learning experience. We’ll get better from it. We move on. No hard feelings, none of that stuff. We move on.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr also downplayed the confrontation that generated a firestorm on social media.

“It’s just good communication from two teammates who are passionate and trying to figure something out together,” he said. “Kevin didn’t take it personally. I thought Draymond handled it really well. We had a good film session, a good meeting today, where guys talked about different things. It’s all part of the process.”

Durant expressed an appreciation for Green’s willingness to deal with things immediately and emphatically, rather than letting them fester and become an actual issue.

“That’s a good thing, especially coming from an All-Star, a guy that is a huge part of the organization and a part of the franchise,” Durant said. “That’s what you need. You need that. You need someone to just be real and just let us know that, ‘Look, we’re still getting better. We’re not where we want to be. We’ve made some mistakes.’

“But at the same time, he’s still encouraging and still positive and still have his teammates’ back. It’s definitely good.”

NBA rumors: Warriors 'not pushing' to trade guard D'Angelo Russell now

NBA rumors: Warriors 'not pushing' to trade guard D'Angelo Russell now

When the Warriors acquired D'Angelo Russell as part of Kevin Durant's sign-and-trade with the Nets this past offseason and signed the star point guard to a four-year, $117 million contract, it seemed like a bit of an odd fit.

How would Russell fit with fellow point guard Steph Curry? What about when shooting guard Klay Thompson became healthy? More than anything, it looked like Golden State added a great trade asset. 

But the Warriors reportedly are in no rush to trade D-Lo. 

“If it is something that they’re going to do quickly, like before the end of this month, I wouldn’t say they’re pushing for it,” one NBA general manager recently said to Heavy.com's Sean Deveney. “Maybe they have a deal in mind, maybe they’re sitting on something and laying low. But I’d be surprised.

"That’s not how they’d approach it, I’d think. You want to create a market if you are going to trade a player like him, you want to pit teams against each other, drive up the price. You don’t want to lock into one deal. But the market thing, that’s not really happening yet. They’re not pushing the market for him.”

If the Warriors do indeed have a trade in mind, they soon can start taking calls. The NBA's collective bargaining agreement prohibits the Dubs from parting ways with Russell until Dec. 15. 

Since acquiring the All-Star, general manager Bob Myers has made it clear the Warriors aren't trying to get rid of Russell. 

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers said to reporters on July 15. 

Russell has been a bright spot on the 5-19 Warriors when healthy. He has been limited to only 12 games while dealing with a sprained right thumb, but has averaged a career-high 22.3 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. 

[RELATED: Why R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball might interest Warriors]

The Warriors truly won't be able to evaluate the 23-year-old's future with the team until he has played more with Curry and the rest of the injured Dubs.

Golden State has until the Feb. 7 trade deadline to move Russell, but as of now, that doesn't seem to be at the top of the team's priority list.

Warriors' Steve Kerr shouts out Larry Bird on NBA legend's birthday

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USATSI

Warriors' Steve Kerr shouts out Larry Bird on NBA legend's birthday

On Larry Bird's 63rd birthday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr tipped his virtual cap to the Basketball Hall of Famer. 

Kerr shared Yahoo Sports' retrospective video on Bird's career on Twitter, imploring "all you young NBA fans out there" to watch and get a sense of just how good Bird was. 

In his 13-year career, Bird was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA first-team member, three-time champion and three-time MVP. The trash-talking forward shot 50.9 percent from inside the arc and 37.6 percent from 3-point range, emerging as one of the league's sharpest shooters in the nascent 3-point era. 

[RELATED: Why Hampton, Ball might interest Warriors]

Bird retired as the NBA's 11th-leading scorer all-time, averaging the 12th-most points per game in league history (24.3) through 1992. The "Hick From French Lick" made a clear impression on Kerr, and the Warriors coach recalled being starstruck when he played against Bird during his second NBA season. 

“You know my name,” Kerr said to KNBR in a 2017 interview, recounting when Bird said hello to him before a game. "[I said,] 'Hey guys, Larry Bird knows my name!'"