Ratto: Warriors Are A Team, But Durant Is A Solo Act

The Warriors have had problems behind the scenes for a while, Ray Ratto said, but now those problems are public

November 15, 2018 - 8:49 am

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Well, that escalated quickly.

The Golden State Warriors, perhaps the most cohesive franchise in the NBA, became a soap opera this week, with Kevin Durant and Draymond Green engaging in a public spat that led to Green being suspended for one game.

What’s the problem in Oakland?

“I think they’ve had the problem for a while, but it’s basically stayed on a back-burner,” NBC Sports Bay area columnist Ray Ratto said on Ferrall on the Bench. “But now it’s out in front where not only we can see it, but it’s become directly confrontational. Which means they’re no longer in control of this. This is really a matter of whether Kevin Durant wants to figure out a way to let bygones be bygones and whether Draymond Green can back away and (be) humble, which he’s not prone to do. So they have to hope they figure it out – because if they don’t, this is going to be a radically different year for everybody.”

Durant, 30, has waffled on his long-term commitment to the Warriors, and Green doesn’t like it. It’s possible other Warriors feel the same.

“The Warriors have prided themselves on being a collective, and Durant is a single act,” Ratto said. “I think Durant is at a stage now where he might want to position himself to be thought of as the best player in basketball. If that means leaving the best situation to forge an identity of his own separate of everybody – I think it’s kind of a daft choice, but it’s his. . . . The fact that he took less money this last time was not about giving the team a break; it was about maintaining his freedom of action. And when he did that, I think some players said, ‘Are you in with us or not?’ Durant is in, but he’s not all the way in in the way that they’re used to.”

If Durant does leave the Warriors, Ratio believes he could wind up in New York.

“If Durant’s biggest desire is to be the big dog, he’s far more likely to go to New York – even if it means he doesn’t win any championships after Oakland – than he would go to L.A.,” he said. “In L.A., he would still be second fiddle. He would be second fiddle to LeBron, and when LeBron left, he’d still be second fiddle to the ghost of Kobe and the ghost of Kareem. He doesn’t get to be the guy in L.A. the way I think he fancies this will end up.”