What Draymond Green must learn from Kevin Durant in return to Warriors

What Draymond Green must learn from Kevin Durant in return to Warriors

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. 

NBA rumors: Porzingis wasn't psyched about possibly playing with Kevin Durant

NBA rumors: Porzingis wasn't psyched about possibly playing with Kevin Durant

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders Saturday at 4:00 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On Jan. 31, the Knicks agreed to trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavericks.

The move shocked most of the basketball world, because the 23-year old was the face of the franchise.

His time in New York, however, was filled with turmoil and he wasn't shy about voicing his displeasure with the state of the most valuable team in the league.

Hours before he was shipped to Dallas, Porzingis told Knicks management that he "no longer wanted to be a part of our group," team president Steve Mills told reporters shortly after the trade.

Was there anything in particular that cemented the Latvian's feelings about his future (or lack thereof) in the Big Apple? 

Well, there is a new piece of information that just might be very interesting to Warriors fans. On the most recent episode of The Lowe Post Podcast, Lowe said the following to ESPN Knicks reporter, Ian Begley.

"There is the possibility that they (the Knicks) got the sense that he wasn't psyched of how aggressively they were going to court bigger names than him. That's possible.

"I'm confident after talking to a lot of people -- I don't think he was psyched about playing with Durant. I don't know how directly that was verbalized to the Knicks. I'm confident that it wasn't something that was like his Plan A he was super thrilled about it.

"He wanted to be the face of the franchise. I think that's known, that's fair. Kevin Durant will be the face of the franchise if he comes. That's it. That's decided. 

"There are other guys who for various reasons I don't think would be the face of the franchise. Kemba Walker would not be. You could argue Kyrie Irving would not be if he were here with Porzingis. It would be close."

First and foremost, it needs to be made clear to everybody that Lowe is not specifically reporting that sources told him Porzingis flat out didn't want to play with KD. So don't get that twisted.

However, Lowe is as connected as it gets and he wouldn't just say something like this unless there was some degree of truth. His assertion is obviously newsworthy because of the connections between the reigning two-time Finals MVP and the Knicks.

And let's be real, if the Knicks were somehow made aware of Porzingis' feelings about Durant -- and if they are confident in their chances of luring Durant away from the Warriors -- it would make perfect sense to part ways with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft in order to free up the necessary cap space to potentially sign Durant and another max-level free agent in July.

OK. That's enough for today. Have a great Friday night and we will see you tomorrow for Warriors-Rockets.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors Under Review: Steph Curry, Draymond Green lead way over Kings

Warriors Under Review: Steph Curry, Draymond Green lead way over Kings

OAKLAND – Displaying plenty of warts, the Warriors came out of the break with just enough juice to post a pulsating 125-123 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Thursday at Oracle Arena.

The win completed a four-game sweep of their NorCal neighbors, who are becoming a difficult team to deal with. The Warriors prevailed mostly because they are more familiar with the necessities required at winning time.

Here are some of the positives and negatives taken from the game:


Curry’s cooking

The Kings stubbornly refused to go away, so somebody had to keep pushing until they were gone. Stephen Curry accepted the job and was masterful at it, scoring 11 of his game-high 36 points over the final seven minutes – with eight coming over the final 2:34. Curry was 10-of-16 from deep overall, but in a game up for grabs until the final horn, he starred in the role of closer.

Sacramento may be tracking the Warriors, but Curry’s shooting – 10 triples in each of last two games against the Kings – continues to expose a hole in the defense.


Energy highs and lows

Sacramento generally looked like a team with energy to burn. The Warriors generally looked like a team trying to summon energy. The result was the Kings being more consistently aggressive, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds and being quicker to 50-50 balls. There is a reason Kevin Durant and Draymond Green both implied the Kings were more deserving of victory.

Perhaps the Warriors, who never get much rest during the All-Star break, needed a game to regroup and find rhythm. They clearly struggled to keep up.


Draymond draining triples

There may not have been a more welcome sight for the Warriors than Draymond Green’s 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc. He was 4-of-30 from deep over the previous 12 games.

Benches around the league have been ridiculing him, sagging off of him and urging him to fire away. The Kings did, and they got burned.

Green doesn’t have to be a great, or even good, 3-point shooter. But, there is great benefit to the Warriors if he’s enough of a threat to command a defender.


Second unit struggles

The Warriors entered the second quarter with a five-point lead. Less than three minutes later, they were down by six.

What happened? The second unit – Quinn Cook, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and DeMarcus Cousins – had difficulty generating offense and zero defensive presence. The Kings’ 15-4 run came in the blink of an eye, with Marvin Bagley III and Corey Brewer accounting for 12 points.

Though the second unit was much better in opening the fourth quarter, turning a two-point deficit into a three-point lead in less than two minutes, the group remains a work in progress.

[RELATED: Kerith Burke answers your questions about Boogie, her favorite interview]


KD’s Block Party

Durant scored 17 points in 18 first-half minutes. He was efficient, making six field goals in nine attempts. The stunner is that he blocked just as many shots, most of them against Bagley. The six-block first half led to a seven-block game, which ties his career record.

Durant shrugged off the blocks, saying he took advantage of Bagley’s tendency to begin his shot at waist-level. OK. But seven blocks is superb. Six in a half is absurd.