Kevin Durant has admitted his heated exchange with Draymond Green last season was part of the reason he left the Golden State Warriors in free agency.
A verbal altercation broke out between the pair during a game last November when Green grabbed a rebound against the Los Angeles Clippers and did not pass to Durant, who was open.
The incident carried over into the locker room, with Green subsequently suspended by the Warriors for one game without pay for conduct “detrimental to the team”.
After losing the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors, Durant left at the end of his contract and signed for the Brooklyn Nets, although he is expected to miss the entire 2019-20 season through injury.
Pressed on the exchange with Green and whether it played into his thinking when deciding his future, Durant told ESPN: “A little bit. Yeah, for sure.
“I mean, if your team-mate talks to you that way, you think about it a bit. We talked about it, but definitely. For sure. I’m not going to lie about it.
“I just felt like I needed a switch. I felt like a lot of stuff in Golden State had reared its head and I felt like it was going to be the end, no matter what – especially for that group.
“Shaun Livingston was retiring, Andre Iguodalo was getting older, our contracts were going to stifle the team and put us in a hole to get other players. It was time for all of us to separate.”
Green took blame for the incident last week, acknowledging he was “wrong” and revealing he had to work to rebuild Durant’s trust.
“Once I was able to get over my stubbornness and accept the fact that I was wrong, I was able to move on,” Green told ESPN. “I lost [Durant’s] trust. How do I get that back?
“[It was] not so we can win a championship or we can win some games but [because] I actually loved this guy – like that’s really my brother. And so not knowing what’s next in our relationship bothered me more.”