It's been over two weeks since Draymond Green shook the NBA by telling Kevin Durant that the Warriors don't need him. They do of course, and it's still unclear if the passage of time has mended the beef. However, after dropping 40-plus in three straight games, culminating in Thursday night's 51-point explosion against the Raptors (by explosion, we're also talking about Drake's areola), Durant appeared buoyant in post-game comments to The Athletic's Anthony Slater, something that's been sorely lacking since the feud first emerged.
Without directly addressing the elephant in the locker room, KD chalked the whole brouhaha up to the usual ebbs and flows of life in the NBA. "It’s just crazy how we have so much success here that a lot of people don’t realize that this is usually what happens in the NBA," Durant said. "It may not happen to the Warriors the last four years. But it happens. It happens to every team in the NBA."
While this is assuredly true, as any rational explanation of group dynamics would tell you, Green's comments obviously struck a nerve with KD, and it's cast a gloomy pallor over Durant and a team that was finally playing with joy for the first time during the KD era earlier in the season. However, Durant's explanation does seem to imply he's moved on, even if prognosticators and speculative bloggers wonder if there's more festering beneath the surface.
"I’ve been on teams where you have these ebbs and flows, ups and downs, emotions flare and guys in the locker room get into it" Durant told Slater. "You have all this stuff in the league. It’s nothing new. I just think it’s the first time we went through it as a group. I’m sure Andre [Iguodala] had it on previous teams, Shaun [Livingston], myself. Anyone here that’s played somewhere else has been through a season like that, a stretch like that. I think that also helped us out fighting through this, getting onto the next day."
One person who's been impressed with Durant's recent run is Green himself. "To see him obviously stepping up to the plate and carrying the load like that, the scoring load like he is, he's been spectacular to watch," he said, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. "And obviously doing it in KD fashion: efficient, within the game. It's been really, really special to watch and obviously comes at a much-needed time for us."
The four-game losing streak certainly played a role in revving up talk of a team in turmoil, but sometimes lost amid talk of a dynasty ending was that the Warriors have been missing Steph Curry for a while, and Draymond hasn't been himself with a nagging toe injury that's finally on the mend. Curry will reportedly be back on the court on Saturday when the Warriors travel to Detroit, and Draymond will be healthy well before the games really matter. They're still the Warriors, and the page appears to have turned on the Dray-Durant saga...for now.