Draymond Green unveiled his new podcast, Chips, yesterday by bringing Kevin Durant on as his first guest (good booking, that) and then recasting their famous shouting match at the end of an overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in November of 2018 as the ultimate fault of both general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr.
To which the nation said, “Oh. Okay then.”
Three years ago, sitting next to Myers at a press conference, Green acknowledged that it was in fact his fault for letting the famous-ish argument, which began when Green grabbed a rebound in the waning seconds of a tie game and, instead of passing to Durant who was standing behind him clapping for the ball, dribbled all the way up the court and then fell over as time expired. The result was the two getting into a yelling match that included a reminder from Green that Durant hadn’t yet publicly acknowledged whether he was going to stay in Oakland or use his free agency to go somewhere else.
Yesterday, the new version was that Myers and Kerr were the ones who overreacted, and Green and Durant both agreed that was a better version of the story. Green, in fact, burned down a bit of Myers’s interpersonal village and was immediately painted by the hot-takery industry as not only a master of revisionist history, but an ingrate as well.
Which would have been interesting if only the argument had a genuine bearing on Durant’s future at the time at all. Which it really didn’t. The myth that it was the linchpin for Durant’s departure has persisted because that’s what myths do, but for those around the team, the assumption was already well cemented in place even before the season began that Durant would leave for a new team at the end of the season no matter what. In other words, this was a beef without much meat, and frankly still is.
But here it comes again, repackaged yet again because Green needs to drive an audience (which shouldn’t be that hard for him to do), and because, as he put it, “I’ve been getting my ass kicked about this for three years.” Actually, three years being three years and all, he hasn’t been getting his ass kicked. The argument is almost never brought up any more in public circles, and if Green is hearing it constantly as he claims, he needs new friends, new acquaintances, or new social media outlets.
The hustle never ends, though, and if Myers and Kerr are collateral damage for this new version of events and post-events, well, what’s the real harm except to their feelings? They’re not trading, cutting, or suspending him again because, as they know, they need him as a player and they gain nothing by demonstrating their disapproval, either now or later. They’ll let it go because there is no value for them in holding on to any resentment, and they know that these things tend to have a very limited shelf life. It was just that least valuable of condemnations, uncool, and for everyone who went all purple about it, momentarily distracting.
It’s just, and we’ll break while you drop a heavy sigh here, Draymond being Draymond. There are 21 minutes of other information in the pod, some of it interesting, but in taking the bait yet again, we have perpetuated the notion that their argument had some lasting effect on anything except our gullibility. The Warriors didn’t win their third title not because feelings were bent for a week, but because Durant and Klay Thompson got hurt, and there’s no 30-for-30-able material in that: “Achilles Tendon, Knee, Raptors Win Championship.”
What we got was Draymond Green moving some podcast numbers around with an unnecessary and frankly uninteresting recasting of an event that has already been retold enough times to now be completely tedious. Everyone got a day to fulminate about it, which I suppose works well enough in August, but it was in the end a rock tossed into a pond that created no ripple. But Green is new at the podcast thing, and he’ll have better days. Durant, who looked mildly bothered by the entire three-minute exercise, will forget that the pod ever happened when he goes back to the gym to work on his feet-to-three-point-arc ratio. Myers and Kerr will go back to laying on their respective beaches, and we’ll all move on.
And maybe this too-told myth will die the death it so richly deserves. I mean, that’s not the way to bet, but a person’s got to have a dream, right?