Sources: Draymond Green purposely tried to rile up, motivate Kevin Durant

ByChris Haynes ESPN logo
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The verbal altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green on Saturday was nothing more than an attempt by Green to light a fire under his superstar teammate, league sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

Sources told ESPN that Green, trying to use reverse psychology, intentionally and aggressively approached Durant with a bevy of choice words during a break in Saturday's loss to the Sacramento Kings.

Durant, who had his worst game with the Warriors as he went 2-of-10 from the field and finished with a season-low 10 points, wasn't his typical engaged self that evening.

Green's premeditated approach sparked a verbal spat that lasted roughly 30 seconds.

"F--- you" obscenities were repeatedly tossed back and forth by both players, sources told ESPN. Durant was enraged. Sources said Green, knowing he had accomplished his goal, began winking and smiling at some of his teammates and coaching staff.

Sources told ESPN that Green and Durant watched Super Bowl LI together Sunday.

"Nothing in general," Green said Tuesday when asked what led to the confrontation. "It was actually a tactic. But that's for us to know and for everyone else to figure out."

Warriors coach Steve Kerr downplayed the spat.

"It's totally normal," Kerr said of the altercation. "You should have seen the Bulls back in the day. ... It's just competitive, heat-of-the-moment stuff."

Stephen Curry said he wasn't aware of Green's tactics but said he wouldn't put it past him.

"You know, it's really nothing," Curry said Tuesday. "It comes from a place of respect between everybody on the team. Nobody takes anything personally, nobody goes home and cries about it. Everybody wants to win. People might get heated, might happen in front of cameras. Those kind of conversations need to happen so we can continue to get better, to not get complacent."

Green echoed his teammate's sentiment, saying, "If you can't [have a dispute], you're probably on a losing team. But everybody that makes a big deal out of it probably are losers. So that's how I view it. Anyone who knows anything about winning know that's what happens. It just is what it is."

He added later: "If you've got to hide something from one of your teammates, you can't say something to somebody, then you're in a bad situation. And me personally, I don't want to be in that situation. If you're on a team where you can't talk, where there's moments and you need to yell at each other, maybe that yelling is to get each other going."

Green's plan didn't work out Saturday night, but he did his part in trying. Before concluding his media session Tuesday, Green was asked again what prompted the argument.

"You can go talk to one of these losing teams and they'll tell you everything that's going on with them," Green said. "Not here."

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