OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant dismissed Draymond Being Draymond No. 127, but not with charity or forbearance.
As the Warriors star said Tuesday, “I’m not gonna give anybody any headlines,” but as he showed, reconciliation after Monday's sword-crossing still is a ways off.
When he was asked after Golden State’s desultory 110-103 victory over the Atlanta Hawks if he had spoken to Green since Monday’s loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in which Green apparently referenced Durant's pending free agency in a brief argument in the huddle, he simply said, “No.”
And when asked if he thought it will all blow over quickly, he used the old line, “S--t happens in the NBA” way, and said with equal terse disdain, “I’m sure it will. We have a long season ahead.”
Durant clearly figures to use a few of the remaining 149 days of the regular season to sort out just how much Draymond Being Draymond he intends to tolerate from here on out. And, while we're there, how much Green has to alter the way he applies his messages to Durant and his other teammates going forward from here.
It is instructive that coach Steve Kerr, when asked before the game if Green’s suspension was solely based on his actions Monday or an accumulation of events, hesitated awhile before not answering. And while Durant clearly has decided that Green went beyond the line Monday in Los Angeles, there seems to have come a line of demarcation that will define the future limits of Draymond Being Draymond.
In short, maybe Draymond Being Draymond, or DBD as we will come to know it in this acronymic culture we have built, finally is running its course in its present form and requires some modifications.
To be sure, Durant isn’t going to make this easy, or hasten its disappearance from the national debate-a-thon. This one will linger as long as Durant wants to let it linger, lest the myth of the happy-happy-joy-joy Warriors be damned. Being repeatedly yelled at by anyone ages quickly, whether lines of propriety are crossed or not as they were here (though Durant declined to say what the offending phrase was), and Green certainly is at his limit, at least with the team’s most desired potential free agent.
But maybe Green’s message has grown a bit wearisome in general. It should be remembered that this is a team that not only has been together awhile but is made up largely of 30-somethings now. They are less likely to find the medicinal value in being repeatedly harshed by the guy next to them on the factory floor, no matter what the message is.
In other words, in suspending Green, Kerr and general manager Bob Myers clearly chose a side, and it was not one of tolerance toward this latest manifestation of DBD, but even great tolerance has its limits, and Green sat at home reflecting on his.
Presumably he watched from a discreet distance as the Warriors struggled to master the deeply underclubbed Hawks. Nobody shot well, the game was largely arrhythmic, and there was an air of nervous meh hovering over the proceedings as though this was a duty dance before things get interesting on Wednesday’s flight to Houston.
There Green can craft his apologies, explanations or just plain bygone bygones, and then he can decide how much he can modify how he engages with his teammates, and how much DBD still is effective as the Warriors enter athletic middle age.
When and whether Green chooses to share his views with the outside world remains to be seen, and heard. And how he chooses his words in that moment might influence how the basketball cognoscenti view him and how many people and how much order he disturbed Monday in Los Angeles.
First things first, though, and that will be if and how he can acknowledge his excesses toward Durant and how well he can make his amends both appealing and adhesive. Durant seems at least momentarily resistant, but you know what they say about s--- happening.
After all, part of the mythos of Draymond Being Draymond is based on his ability to learn from his errors as well as pointing out those of others. The next move is Green’s.
And the one after that will be Durant’s.