February 18, 2019

Were Draymond and Durant the players at the center of Golden State’s “shocking” internal drama?

2018/06/09 12:49 pm 12:49 pm12:49 pm0 3 comments

The Golden State Warriors completely dominated the Cleveland Cavs, sweeping the LeBron James-led team to their third championship in four years.

When everything clicks on the court, as it does for most great teams, that usually translates to a cohesive locker room. However that might not necessarily been true for the 2018 Warriors. No more than a few hours after winning the NBA Finals and minting Kevin Durant as the Finals MVP, a couple surprising revelations came out about behind-the-scenes problems that happened in the Warriors’ journey to the 2018 NBA Title.

Though no specifics have surfaced, 37-year old veteran David West was the most telling in his comments when he told ESPN’s Marc Spears there was “a lot going on behind that scenes that people will be shocked about when it comes out.”

When asked to expand on his comments by The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, West didn’t go very much further and didn’t give us hope that the players involved would ever be confirmed.

“We’re so tight, people don’t even know what we went through. They trying to find out. We don’t have suckas on this team.”

His comments were definitely intriguing considering the timing. What was even more interesting was two other Warriors came forward to further add fuel to the speculation. Jumping onto the train was the quiet and professional Shaun Livingston who was quoted by ESPN’s Marc Spears as saying “Shout out to Steve Kerr for dealing with all our B.S. this year!”

It seems like some players wanted to let out some of the pressure that built up during the season, but not one second before winning the title first.

Steve Kerr also chimed in. He didn’t deny there was trouble and was vague in confirming there were problems.

“It was the hardest year of my short coaching career,” Kerr said. “Four years but this was the most difficult one for sure. We had typical team stuff that every team has. I think it was more than that. It was the grind of doing it again. You know this but only a handful of teams have made the Finals four years in a row in the history of the league. There’s a lot of internal stuff that happens. As a coach you have to try to navigate, move forward and keep the train rolling.”

Who Caused the Internal Problems for the Warriors?

Organizations would kill for a composition like the Warriors; a team packed with superstars and role players that are talented, selfless, hard working and with an extremely high IQ. That builds a team culture worth envying on all sides.

Even in the midst of what seemingly looks like a perfect franchise, the comments signaled significant obstacles during the 2017-18 season. We’re here to chance a couple guesses as to which players were the likely antagonist(s).

We can’t be sure that it wasn’t D. West or Shaun Livingston however their personalities are 100% professional and above reproach. Add to that the fact how they refer to the drama feels like they weren’t involved / we’re above it. We think it’s safe to assume it wasn’t them.

Now let’s talk about the Splash Brothers: We’re  certain that it’s not Steph Curry. If he is somehow involved, we think Curry rises above that and at the very least, isn’t the antagonist in that scenario. We also strongly believe it isn’t no-maintenance superstar Klay Thompson.

We not so secretly hope it doesn’t involve Klay because that dude is a rock and the Warriors need to re-sign him to continue their success. Thompson’s unique blend of confidence, low key personality and skill set makes him a different kind of NBA unicorn.

Let’s scratch out Quinn Cook and Jordan Bell; these players are so new and green that even if they made a stink that it would cause that much divisiveness; that’s to say they don’t the two don’t have enough leverage to cause a blow up that would affect the team at large.

It’s highly unlikely that the source is backup center Kevon Looney either. From what we see on the court, Looney’s in the mold of a West or Livingston — a guy that dutifully does his job, works hard and doesn’t complain about not being more involved. He’s Teflon for drama.

So who could it be? That leaves us with a handful of possible players.

We’ll start with the centers. Zaza Pachulia did lose his starting job to JaVale McGee and barely played in the postseason. That could be a lead but then we think about Kerr referring to Zaza as the team’s “moral compass”.

Not just that, JaVale continues to prove himself as a professional and a critical player for the Warriors when they need energy off the bench. He hasn’t has a flare up since being on the Warriors and on more than one occasion has shown appreciation to be a part of a team that has made basketball fun for him agsin.

The typical “competing for minutes” drama could have been problematic but in this case, it may not have been that big a deal considering the players involved

Nick Young? Doubtful. The guy is brand new to the Warriors and has seemed focused on not making waves, fitting in, improving his defense and getting his first NBA championship.

Maybe Andre Igoudala? Possibly, but his usual M.O. is more an thoughtful, intellectual approach; one that doesn’t seem like would cause any long-lasting feud or disharmony.

Did Draymond and Durant Cause Golden State Warriors Drama?

That leaves us with aacouple players and if we had to place bets on which two players on the roster that the drama bubbled up from, we’d say it was drama between Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

For anyone that actually cares about this issue and thinks for more than three minutes about whom it could be, we think the two would probably come up as the usual suspects. We’d wager that the two would have the highest odds in Vegas.

When we think of an NBA antagonist, we think of Green angering opponents with his mouth, physical play, and demonstrative celebrations. On that same coin, the emotion just doesn’t disappear when the game’s over.

We can easily see Draymond’s passion spilling into practice or the weight room or team meetings. Add to the fact that Draymond doesn’t discriminate when it comes to speaking his mind meaning that could involve any player on the roster.

We think it’s likely he eventually said or did something to Kevin Durant to set off troubles.

Durant, the self-proclaimed best player in the NBA, isn’t one to take too much needling. As much as the Warriors are a selfless team with a philosophy of sharing the ball, egos and confidence are a necessity to being a successful NBA player. If he isn’t the best player in the NBA now, he’s definitely in the conversation. That’s to say he’s got a lot of confidence and success playing basketball.

Considering the two’s personalities we’ve come to know through watching them on the court and how they deal with the media, it’s not hard to see those two at odds. We think it’s safe to assume and speculate considering that Durant and Green have had at least a couple on-court spats in the last two seasons

Not just that, but Green loves challenging players — no doubt he’s challenged Durant to step up more than once over a “long-ass” text message at 4AM.

We can easily see Green crossing the line with Durant. We can also see Durant saying to himself “Who the f*** are you, I’m the best player in the league” then responding with similar language. Not hard to imagine it escalating from there and causing a rift.

This is all assuming that the problems were related to on-court issues like minutes, defense, shots, work ethic etc.

If that’s not the case, then the 1000+ words we just wrote all goes out the window. If it was an off-court problem involving money, girls, spouses, politics, business or something else then this issue can involve any Warrior.

I guess we’ll just have to wait to see if the issue ever leaks over the next few weeks.

(159)

3 Comments

  • Anonymous

    Proofread your grammar, this reads like a high school essay.

  • I opine that it involves Steph Curry, West said we will be shocked. Durant and Draymond spatting is no surprise. Curry shouting This is my fucking house was a surprise, perhaps it was meant for Kevin Durant. If Durant stays, Curry nor Durant will ever be MVP again, so there can be some bad feelings there. I think Durant will not resign because in GSW he will not be top dog. Myers even “joke” he still has not earned the max. Subconsciously there it is.

  • Hi Juan — that’s a great point. When West said “shocked” I interpreted it to mean the actual issue, not the players involved, but now I see it can be interpreted by the who.

Leave a Reply


Other News

eXTReMe Tracker