KD: Draymond spat a factor in leaving Warriors

NEW YORK — Kevin Durant said his altercation with Draymond Green in November was one of many factors that ultimately led him to leave the Golden State Warriors for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency.

“I wish that wouldn’t have happened,” Durant said Thursday. “I feel like that was a situation that definitely could have been avoided. It really came out of nowhere.”

Durant’s comments came during a wide-ranging interview on ESPN’s First Take in which the former NBA MVP discussed his free-agency decision, his rehab from an Achilles injury and new teammate Kyrie Irving.

The on-court disagreement between Durant and Green happened after a loss to the LA Clippers last season. The All-Stars continued to exchange words in the locker room, and Green ultimately was suspended for one game without pay by the Warriors.

“Draymond knew that he was out of line,” Durant said. “As men, we talked about it and everybody around tried to get us to mend it fast because of the season and we wanted to win. But he had his process on how he wanted to handle it and I had my process and eventually we came together.”

Durant was asked whether the incident played a role in his decision to leave the Warriors.

“I mean, your teammate talked to you that way, you think about it a bit,” he said. “But … we talked about it, but definitely [it was a factor], for sure, I’m not going to lie about it.”

Asked to clarify why he eventually left the Warriors, Durant said he “just felt like I needed a switch.”

“I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head,” he said. “I felt like it was going to be the end no matter what, especially for that group. Shaun Livingston was retiring. Andre Iguodala was getting older. Our contracts were going to start for the team and put us in a hole to get other players.

“It was time for all of us to separate.”

At the time of the altercation with Green, Durant’s free agency loomed over the franchise.

“Every day it was about my free agency,” Durant said Thursday. “Every day was about my disposition as a player — what I looked like on the bench, what I looked like during the games. It opened up a lot of nonsense that could’ve been avoided. But Draymond and I talked about it.”

Green addressed the incident earlier this month during an interview with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on The Woj Pod. Green said his suspension caused him to question his standing with the franchise and that he started to tell himself, “Oh my God, the Warriors sided with Kevin Durant.”

“I just had to accept the fact that I was wrong,” Green said on the podcast. “And once I was able to get over my stubbornness and accept the fact that I was wrong, I was able to move on. I lost [Durant’s] trust. How do I get that back? Not so we can win a championship or we can win some games … but I actually loved this guy, like that’s really my brother. And so not knowing what’s next in our relationship bothered me more.”

In addition to his comments about Green, Durant reiterated he will not be returning to the court during the 2019-20 season. The 10-time All-Star suffered a ruptured Achilles in June during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

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