Draymond Green Sounds Off on Kevin Durant Trade Demand

Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors

Getty Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors looks on in the third quarter against the Boston Celtics during Game Four of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 10, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green has had an up and down relationship with Kevin Durant since the two became teammates in 2016.

On Thursday, three weeks after the Dubs captured their fourth NBA title in eight years, Green stepped to the mic and offered an opinion that represents the latest twist in the ever-evolving professional journey between the two future Hall of Fame players.

On June 30, Durant officially requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets after three seasons with the franchise that produced just one playoff series victory. Durant faced extensive criticism when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Bay Area six years before, including various accusations that amounted to Durant having taken the path of least resistance to ultimate success.

Those critiques did not dissipate even after Durant helped lead the Warriors to three straight NBA Finals appearances and back-to-back championships between 2016-19. Some of the same criticisms Durant has endured for the better part of a decade have again reared their heads in the wake of the former MVP’s ask out of Brooklyn, preferably for either the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat.

Green on his self-titled podcast Thursday spoke both directly to the flak Durant has caught over the last eight days and to how the career decisions of pro athletes are generally viewed through a different lens than those who operate in other professions.

Why does that make you weak? Why does that mean he’s running from something? I don’t understand that. Why is it that it’s just not — “That’s the next step in his career”?

If someone leaves Google to go to Apple after three or four years, and then they leave Apple after two years to go Tesla, and then they leave Tesla after four years to go to Docusign, no one is going to say that person ran or that person did this or that person did that. Everyone is going to say that person did what was best for their career and best for their livelihoods.

But us as athletes, it’s never viewed that way. Why can’t you do everything you can to get it right? Even if that means making a wrong move and continuing on. Why is it that athletes are viewed that way?

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Green Laments Public’s Inability to View Athletes as Businessmen


GettyKevin Durant, formerly of the Golden State Warriors, tries to calm down teammate Draymond Green after a foul call in the second half of a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Green continued by offering his own criticisms of fans and sports media for their unwillingness to accept basketball players as businessmen running their own corporations.

People can’t accept the fact that athletes are now businessmen and no longer just playing basketball. At some point, people have to realize and be able to accept the fact that athletes are businessmen and we make business moves and business decisions, because you are operating a business.

I am operating Draymond Green Inc., or whatever you wanna call it. So why, if Draymond Green makes a move, a business move, is it not viewed as just that? Let’s talk about the move that’s made, is that a good move for business or is it not?

But to start calling somebody weak and [say] they run from challenges, that’s baffling to me. Because [Durant] has worked his entire life to be in that position to where he controls where he goes next. And by the way, everyone in the NBA can’t control where they go next. So to be in that position, to have that opportunity to control what you do next, that’s the American dream.

Warriors Superstars Have Reached Out to Durant to Discuss Reunion

Steph Curry, Klay Thompson

GettyStephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors celebrate after defeating the Boston Celtics 103-90 in Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Marc J. Spears of ESPN reported on Sunday, July 3, that Golden State had interest in re-acquiring Durant for a second go-round.

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic followed that report with news that the Warriors trio of superstars — Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Green — had reached out to Durant to discuss the possibility.

However, he added that a reunion is “highly unlikely,” for several reasons, not the least of which is the steep price the Dubs will have to pay to get a deal done. Any agreement would most likely include several of the team’s young up-and-comers, including Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga, not to mention a haul of draft assets.

Nick Wright of Fox Sports speculated the following day that Curry is not interested in a Durant return, while Colin Cowherd posited that Durant would not be interested either. Neither Curry nor Durant has spoken publicly on the possibility of teaming up again as members of the Warriors.

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