New details have emerged about the ugly extent of the spat between Golden State Warriors teammates Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.
The argument over who should have taken the ball in the dying seconds of regulation time during Golden State’s overtime loss against the Clippers saw the Warriors stars locked in a fiery on court-exchange.
Klay Thompson’s scoring surge had helped the Warriors erase a 14-point deficit in a span of five minutes late in the fourth quarter.
Green then grabbed a rebound with five seconds remaining and dribbled into a sea of Clippers defenders at midcourt, only to lose the ball and a chance to win in regulation.
Durant could be seen demanding the ball for the entirety of that final possession, and an argument before overtime ended with notorious peacemaker DeMarcus Cousins separating Green from the huddle.
The Clippers eventually won, 121-116.
However, the bitter scenes between Green and Durant didn’t just carry over from the court into the huddle between regulation and overtime of their loss – it spilled into the locker room.
The scenes were described by ESPN as “one of the most intense [exchanges] of this Warriors era.”
The heated incident reportedly never turned physical but it did escalate when Green defended his decision not to pass to one of the game’s greatest scorers for the final possession.
Green repeatedly called Durant “a bitch” after he was called out by the two-time NBA Finals MVP in the huddle for not passing him the ball, sources said.
It’s understood the Golden State organisation is of the belief that Green cut too deep in his disagreement with Durant.
Multiple Warriors players were said to have questioned Green’s thought process after the match.
Subplot in #Warriors loss to #Clippers: bad blood between #KD and Draymond. Had to be separated in huddle going into OT. “Just pass the damn ball” says KD after Draymond fumbles ball at end of regulation. #NBA pic.twitter.com/a0JcKKOZhn
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) November 13, 2018
The Golden State Warriors are expected to sit Green out for their next game against the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Klay Thompson, who is typically reserved, spoke up in the locker room to the surprise of his teammates about the altercation and stressed the importance of sticking together, sources said.
Durant is expected to decline his player option for the 2019-20 season to hit free agency next summer, and the team desperately hopes to retain him.
Sources: In midst of verbal exchange on court late in Monday's game, Draymond Green challenged Kevin Durant about Durant's impending free agency. As teammates came at Green about his turnover, he responded. This has been a simmering issue for the Warriors today.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 13, 2018
It’s not the first time Green has been involved in heated confrontations with teammates.
During a locker-room tirade at halftime of a February 2016 game, he reportedly threatened to leave if they didn’t involve him more in the offence.
In an on-court argument a year later, Green was miffed that Durant wasn’t willing to take the last shot.
Warriors veteran Shaun Livingston downplayed the heated exchange to media after the game, with neither player involved providing comment on the matter.
“Just team spirit,” Livingston said.
“Guys wanted a different outcome than what happened. Obviously, Dray had the turnover, guys might have thought they were open or wanted the basketball, didn’t get it.
“Things happen like that in sports. But it was good to see some fire, some emotion.”
With Yahoo Sports US