Former Warrior Kevin Durant recently admitted that his extremely public confrontation with Draymond Green on the night of Nov. 12, 2018 played a role in his departure from Golden State.
On a new episode of "The Book of Basketball 2.0," Warriors coach Steve Kerr didn't seem to disagree.
"This was two guys who were about ready to fight," Kerr recalled in an interview with Bill Simmons.
In a 121-116 overtime loss to the Clippers, the two Warriors players were caught on camera getting into a verbal altercation on Golden State's bench. Durant and Green had to be separated by teammates, and Green ultimately was suspended by the team for the next game for his role in the squabble.
"I think I addressed it, but we didn't ... there was so much raw emotion in the locker room, we weren't going to resolve anything that night, for sure," Kerr told Simmons. "And that was the beginning ... actually, it wasn't even the beginning. It was probably more a result of what we had started to feel late the season before, where the team was starting to drift a little bit.
"We were losing some of that connection, and then it kind of continued into camp and the early part of the season. There was just sort of an unspoken tension that was there that Draymond couldn't deal with and he just snapped and it opened up a pretty big wound."
Kerr knows that it wasn't Green's intention to cause such a lasting rift within the team, but rather, he simply went overboard being himself.
"This is my sixth year coaching the Warriors, now, so Draymond and I know each other really well," Kerr said. "He needs some conflict to motivate himself, and I embrace that. And he and I have gotten into it every single year, multiple times, and it's okay because he needs the conflict to get motivated, to get energized.
"In this particular case with Kevin, it was too much, and it's something that happened on national TV. And now, you've invited the whole world to scrutinize your team, and so now there's so many distractions that it becomes really difficult to deal with."
Apparently, however, the Durant-Green confrontation wasn't the only one of its kind.
"If this had happened at a practice, you can cover it up," Kerr stated. "Actually, we had several things over the past few years that have happened that never made it out, and we're really proud of that."
One might recall that shortly after the Warriors won the 2018 NBA Championship, former Warrior David West informed the public that Golden State's journey to the title wasn't a rosy as it might have appeared from the outside.
“Y’all got no clue. No clue. That tells you about this team that nothing came out,” David West said https://t.co/VkrrVYX86o— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) June 9, 2018
Kerr refrained from expounding on those unknown details, but it's quite clear that the groundwork that led to Durant's exit was laid long before the decisive blow.