Kevin Durant has had no shortage of superstar teammates throughout his career. And as such, he constantly has been surrounded by some of the most competitive and demanding players the NBA has to offer. Of course, he can be pretty darn competitive and demanding himself.
Perhaps that's why he's able to respect Draymond Green's leadership style, even if the former Defensive Player of the Year stepped over the line more than anyone else Durant has played with.
"All of us naturally are underdogs, got chips on our shoulders, because it's hard to make it to this point," Durant said on Bleacher Report’s "Chips with Draymond Green." "But the person that went too far was always Draymond Green, to the point where I felt like you were trying to establish that you're not playing around. Like, you're not going to walk over me, even though I was a second-round pick and I'm undersized and I'm not as skilled as y'all want me to be or I don't play the way y'all traditionally like for people my size to play."
Obviously, there were times when the chips on their respective shoulders caused Durant and Green to butt heads, most notably their on-court argument during a game between the Warriors and LA Clippers in 2018. But Durant explained how, on the whole, he benefitted from the way Green goes about his business.
"But you pushed it to a limit where it's like it's cool for me to be who I am and not apologize for it all the time," Durant added, "because you don't mean no harm to anybody, but s--t that you wanted done, you wanted done. And we all respected that. And we all kind of looked up to that as guys who come into the league and want to fit into this system so bad, wanting to be a part of this whole thing, then you realize you see dudes who [are] just going by their own little pace, and it's like, that's more so my rhythm.
"So, a lot of guys that I've played with, from [Russell Westbrook] to James [Harden] to [Kyrie Irving] to Steph [Curry] to Klay [Thompson], they all kind of move to the beat of their own drum. That encourages a lot of people to do the same s--t; not just basketball players, but people in general who just watch us. Dealing with everybody every single day, I started thinking like that. I started seeing the beauty in all of this s--t."
Many have attributed the dissolution of the dynastic Warriors to the incompatibility of Durant and Green. But surely, they both see plenty of each other in themselves.