D.A.: Draymond's Barbs To Durant Have Truth, Not Tact

Was Draymond wrong to say what he said to KD? Maybe, D.A. says. But what he said was right.

Damon Amendolara
November 15, 2018 - 4:53 pm

USA Today Images

The world buzzes over the Warriors' suspension of Draymond Green. The Obnoxious One finally went too far. Veterans are tired of his outbursts. His emotional spillover has become detrimental. What was he thinking? He should've passed the ball to one of the greatest living scorers ever. Kevin Durant had every right to be upset. 

Maybe. 

But what if Green's criticism of Durant was right? What if that's how everyone in that locker room feels, but he's the only guy who would say it? Draymond's tact could use polishing, as we all know. His message, though, is spot on. 

Green thinks KD lashed out about not getting the ball at the end of regulation because Durant wants to play hero. This offseason he'll become a free agent once again, and Green is distrustful that Durant wants to increase his own marketability and visibility for the summer. My guess is that's a common concern within that locker room. The rest of the team likely expects Durant to ride this season and bounce. There's always seemed to be a distrust of his true motivations.

There's no question they recognize Durant as one of the best players in the NBA. They know what he's done in the last two Finals. They recognize he makes them unstoppable. They know when healthy and focused nobody on Earth can touch them, and they can rattle off as many championships as they want. But Durant doesn't fit into the Golden State tapestry the same way the other guys do. 

Curry, Thompson, and Green were drafted by the organization. Livingston and Iguodala were acquired when the Warriors were still trying to prove themselves. All of these pieces were part of that first magical championship, the one that still means the most of the three. Durant will always be a hired gun in Oakland, no matter how many rings he stacks, and he knows that. This will always be Curry's team. He is the Chosen One, the overlooked, undersized pipsqueak who became the greatest shooter ever. The Dubs won a title, and then 73 games without Durant. Hell, they beat KD in the '16 West Finals. Golden State didn't need him. They needed Durant like Facebook "needed" to buy Instagram. 

Durant has already shown his insecurity by lashing out on social media. He is constantly battling with critics, discussing his motivation for the move, and trying to rationalize his place in history. He is so consumed by how he is viewed he'll never truly fit in there. He knows he'll never be one of them. Perhaps you have a group of friends, and a number of them went to college together. Sure, you have a bond. But you don't have what they have. You can't relate to those roots. You don't share the same inside jokes, you don't get the same references. They always talk about that one bartender at the campus dive that gave away free beers on homecoming, and you just don't get it the same way.  

Durant feels that in Oakland, and there is a distrust from his teammates because of it. He has made the crusade about himself. He can't stop responding to critics. He has teased his upcoming free agency yet again. He has not publicly shut up his brother who throws kerosene on the fire that burns about his impending departure.

Draymond is just the only guy who will say it, because he's the loosest cannon. He took the high road on Thursday, accepting his emotional flaws, and saying he and KD have worked it out. But they all know this is likely one final Immortal Team run. KD is getting these rings, brandishing his legacy, and then moving on for his own team. He knows no matter how many titles as he wins for Golden State, it will never be like winning one on his own. No one will ever respect him the same way. And one thing we see clearly is how desperate he cares about what others think. 

It's not even Thanksgiving. There's seven months of basketball for them to play. This won't suddenly knock them off the obvious trajectory of yet another comical title conquering. This won't fester and rip apart a team this historically dominant. Something that happens today is not going to permanently affect them in June. But Draymond's haymakers thrown Durant's way are real, and that's why this became a huge story. That's why anonymous sources on the team said it will be enough to push KD out of town. It's why others said they won't feel the need to recruit Durant to stay. It's why the team suspended Draymond. Everyone knows he's super sensitive, and this was too personal. Management wants to put a cocoon around KD because he has made them unbeatable. But the rest of the locker room knows the cocoon is a problem. Draymond was just the one to admit it. 

Damon Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., hosts “The D.A. Show,” from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, across the country on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. “The D.A. Show” is known for its unique perspective on sports, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, colorful listener interaction, and candid interviews with athletes and coaches. Amendolara also appears regularly on NFL Network as part of the “NFL Top 10” documentary film series, CBS television and SNY TV. He is a Syracuse University grad and native of Warwick, N.Y.