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Nets’ Kevin Durant on Draymond Green punch: ‘I’ve never seen that until the other day on camera’

Brooklyn Nets All-Star Kevin Durant has been on the receiving end of Draymond Green’s wrath when he played with the Golden State Warriors from 2016-2018, winning two championships along the way. 

Green, who was fined but not suspended earlier in the week by the Warriors for punching teammate Jordan Poole at a closed practice, has a long history of fiery behavior. 

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors takes the court prior to a game against the Washington Wizards at Saitama Super Arena Oct. 2, 2022, in Saitama, Japan.  

Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors takes the court prior to a game against the Washington Wizards at Saitama Super Arena Oct. 2, 2022, in Saitama, Japan.  
(Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

In his final year in the Bay Area, Durant got into a shouting match with Green at the end of the fourth quarter during a November 2018 game against the Los Angeles Clippers that carried into the locker room. Green was suspended for one game without pay after the incident. 

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The altercation threatened to derail the season for Golden State, but Durant and Green were able to mend fences, leading the Warriors to a 2019 NBA Finals appearance

Green’s punch caught on video last week was far more serious than the verbal altercation Durant and Green went through in 2018, but Durant does not see it splintering the locker room. 

The Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant during a game against the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Center Apr. 10, 2022, in New York. 

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant during a game against the Indiana Pacers at the Barclays Center Apr. 10, 2022, in New York. 
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

“I think the best thing about the Warriors is their mantra’s been ‘Strength in Numbers’ that whole time,” Durant told ESPN. “And it’s always been a collaborative effort with everybody there. So Steph is not alone in trying to gather everybody. I’m sure Andre [Iguodala] is helping him. I’m sure Bob [Myers] and Shaun [Livingston] and Klay [Thompson] and just the guys that have been there are helping him as well.

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“So you can’t deal with something like that by yourself. Steph knows that, Bob knows that. I know that from being a part of that group, that they do everything as a collaborative effort. So, I’m sure they’re all talking internally as a group to see what’s the best way to move forward.”

Though Durant believes the Warriors will work through the incident, he’s still never seen one escalate to a punch.

Kevin Durant (7) of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against Draymond Green (23) of the Golden State Warriors Nov. 16, 2021, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Kevin Durant (7) of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against Draymond Green (23) of the Golden State Warriors Nov. 16, 2021, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. 
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

“It’s rare,” Durant said. “It’s rare. I’ve been in the league 16 years, and I’ve never seen that until the other day on camera. You hear about it with MJ [Michael Jordan], and you hear about it with Bobby Portis, but there’s nothing that’s happening every year. It’s very rare that something like that happens.

“It’s none of our business. But it happened to be part of our daily conversation because we’ve seen the videos. We’ve all got our opinions but, to be honest, mine’s don’t matter. It is what it is.”

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