After the Golden State Warriors blew their 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in last year’s NBA Finals, Draymond Green made two phone calls from the parking lot.
As Green explained to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the first was to general manager Bob Myers, telling him that it was his responsibility to sign Kevin Durant. The second was to Durant himself. “That was my very next call,” Green admitted.
Just a couple weeks later, Durant signed a max deal with the franchise, changing the entire shape of the NBA. Given Golden State’s current 3-1 lead in this year’s Finals, it seems like his signing worked out for both parties.
However, speaking to reporters during Sunday’s practice prior to Monday’s Game 5, Durant insisted that the phone call from Green did not happen despite Draymond’s statement that it did.
“That’s false. A hundred percent false,” Durant said via Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk.
“I’ve been talking about this all season,” he continued. “Like, I’m tired of it. At this point I’m not mad or anything, but I’m just saying at this point in The Finals, I’m trying to stay where we are. I’m trying to stay locked in. And like it’s been the whole year now, so it’s over.”
Who’s telling the truth? We may never know the answer.
Ben Rohrbach of Ball Don’t Lie brought up an interesting point in his reporting of Durant’s comments. Since the Warriors lost Game 7 to the Cavaliers on June 19 and since Durant remained under contract with the Thunder until midnight on June 30, Green’s comments might have very well been considered tampering via the NBA’s specific rules if he did indeed begin his recruiting pitch:
“Any Player who, directly or indirectly, entices, induces, persuades or attempts to entice, induce, or persuade any Player, Coach, Trainer, General Manager or any other person who is under contract to any other Member of the Association to enter into negotiations for or relating to his services or negotiates or contracts for such services shall, on being charged with such tampering, be given an opportunity to answer such charges after due notice and the Commissioner shall have the power to decide whether or not the charges have been sustained,” part of the rule states.
Adam Silver could therefore issue a suspension or monetary fine if what was said on the phone call violated the rule above.
Draymond once admitted that it did happen, but now KD said it absolutely didn't happen.
Since the Warriors are one game away from an NBA title, Durant and Green won’t let this issue distract them from their ultimate goal.
Nonetheless, the mystery remains a mystery with one player saying one thing and the other claiming the opposite.