. I'm usually not the one to jump to these "end of days" conclusions that most of us do when the slightest thing seems to go wrong, and I'm not necessarily doing that right now, but for the first time in the 4 years dominance this team has had, I feel worried about what's going on in the locker room.
It isn't that big of a deal that Draymond Green took the ball with 6ish seconds on the clock and tried to go coast to coast, eventually turning it over as time ran out. The yelling match that Draymond and Durant isn't even that big a deal. The problem is what happened in the locker room after the game ended, with reports coming out after the loss this past Monday that the yelling match continued off the court. According to reports, KD kept repeating to Dray that he should have passed him the ball, which was greeted with being called a "bitch."
Now, I don't know if you've ever been called a "bitch" in anger, but it happened to me once and it's absolutely terrifying. In 8th grade, my parish league basketball team was playing a preseason game against a school from Hunters Point (a rougher part of the city). I stuffed this unwise young lad when he tried to take me to the rack. Now when I stay stuffed, I mean I sent that weak s@$% to the rafters. He was much bigger than me but shockingly bad at the game of basketball (you know the type). I then got a little too over my skii's and exclaimed, "get that weak stuff outta here!" Being embarrassed about getting blocked by a kid 6" shorter then he, the guy turned around in a fit of rage and called me a bitch, and tried to fight me. My face turned white. Picture me: Catholic School kid who's only fighting experience constitutes of playing bloody knuckles and red-belly, 5'9, and probably 130 lbs. soaking wet. This guy could've used me as a selfie stick if he wanted to. Luckily his teammates held him back and the game ended shortly thereafter.
Anyways, I can't even imagine how that sort of experience would go down when you combine the ego and macho that these athletes have. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the emotional leader of the squad calling one of the best players in league the old B-word probably isn't great for morale.
Many reports have come out saying Dray said things like (and I'm paraphrasing here) "You've made this season about you," "We've won before you showed up," and continued to question and bring up Kevin's upcoming free agency decision. This is an absolute nightmare for Steve Kerr and Bob Meyers. In Draymond Green, you have a star in the league that took less money for the betterment of the team, who most likely feels that he goes overlooked with all the greatness on his team. On the other end, you have Kevin Durant, who has shown he doesn't have the greatest emotional toughness and also has had no issue leaving a team to pursue self interest.
After the game Tuesday, Kevin made it clear that he and Draymond haven't communicated since the incident, and wouldn't comment on how their friendship will move going forward. People have even said that Steph has gone to Draymond's house to try and clean up the whole mess. Not a great look, and as I see it, there are three ways I see this going down.
1. The situation figures itself out.
This is the most likely outcome. You have to remember, we are all idiots and have no real idea about the inner workings of NBA teams and how they operate. If you play with a bunch of the same guys for a long period of time, there are going to be bumps in the road, and while this seems to be a giant bump, they are not the first great team to experience frustrations and confrontation, and they certainly won't be the last. Winning fixes everything, and the Warriors do that in spades.
2. Kevin Durant leverages the Warriors into trading Draymond away.
This one really stinks. While it is unlikely, if anyone were to be traded away to alleviate discomfort in the locker room, it would be Dray. While he's been the heart of this team during this championship run, no one with a brain can argue that Green's on-court value is greater than Durant's. While it stings as a Warriors fan, any basketball fan outside of the Bay would laugh at us calling this a tough decision. The Warriors could probably get a nice haul for him, but there would be a question as to if the team would be fractured.
3. The Warriors trade Durant at the deadline.
This is the least likely outcome, and as crazy as it sounds, this is kind of what I want to happen. We have undoubtedly enjoyed this run as a fanbase, but deep down inside of every Warriors fan that has been here since the beginning, we all wanted to see what this team could have done without the slim reaper. We were a Draymond kick in the dick from winning 2 straight titles. Who knows what could have happened from there. Would the Warriors have been more vulnerable to losing to the Cavs the next year? Sure. But it would have been our guys, and seeing the way Steph, Klay and Dray have progressed, more titles would have definitely been a possibility.
Maybe Bob Meyers decides that he doesn't want to wait for KD to make his decision and pulls the trigger on a trade before the deadline. Not only would you get a tremendous haul for Durant, but it would also clear out a TON of cap space to make a move to replenish the bench AND possibly sign DeMarcus Cousins to a multiyear deal.
As of right now, every Warriors fan feels like the 8 year old sitting in the back seat listening to his parents fight on the way to Tahoe. There may only be one man who can fix this: