HOUSTON – The Warriors have thrown every rose leaf in the past few weeks that they can find at the feet of Kevin Durant. You know he sees her. They do not know if he bothers them to sniff them. They do not know if their effort has any influence.
The educated guess is that she does not.
It did not affect Durant's freedom of choice over the Squabble in Staples, and it certainly will not do so. Draymond Green set these rose petals on fire.
Durant is a flattery of people outside the community of NBA players and those he loves and respects outside of basketball. Sure, he got excited in July of 2016 when he set up camp at The Hamptons and invited a procession of visitors to bring their most compelling stories. At that time, he wanted to feel the power of mountains coming to Muhammad.
He does not want it and will not need it next time, in 201
He's looking for something deeper and more important than being reminded of his size or even winning basketball games. He will know with the utmost certainty that a friend's face can change on a whim when a grown man exercises his freedom.
Durant experienced this process with Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City. He goes with Green through the second round. Westbrook's use of "cupcake" to describe Durant was a euphemism for "soft." Green does not make euphemisms. According to several sources, he called Durant a "slut". The same thing.
Westbrook was unloaded because Durant had left. Green discharged because he could go. So Durant is again dealing with friend-foe-friend-enemy-stuff, which is generally limited to teens with angry hormones. This is not a game he likes to play.
[POOLE: How the Draymond Green Experience has become big Warriors dilemma]
We would like to point out that Durant never criticized Westbrook's me-first tendencies, even though others have pointed out the factors that drove Durant down , Durant did not indulge in the story, though it was relevant to most accounts.
Durant left OKC less because he was looking for something better than looking for something more. He came to the warriors, hoping to play entertaining and intelligent basketball with his teammates in a region that offered more. This was a test for himself to see if the experience was as good as he had imagined. And sometimes it was.
Other times it was not. Durant experienced some unfortunate moments last spring that were most visible during the Western Conference finals against the Rockets. Some of the advice from coach Steve Kerr came as a criticism. Green, always vocal, reminded Durant hard that he had played an isolation basketball game the warriors would rather avoid.
Green was not wrong. The Rockets did a masterful job of jamming the Warriors' offensive circles that Durant covered for the one-on-one ball that made up most of his time at OKC. He did something he wanted to leave behind.
Well, this one. Well, Green, who first recruited Durant for the warriors, says Durant that he is soft and dispensable according to the sources.
[SHILLER: NBA rumors: Kevin Durant hasn’t shown interest in Warriors trading him]
Durant admits he misappropriated his departure from OKC. He bypassed the politeness of contacting Westbrook, to whom he had been close. Durant regrets that he did not say goodbye to personal decency.
Durant is now vilified every time warriors play the Thunder in Oklahoma. The fans who worshiped him turned against him because he again exercised his freedom to choose another employer.
More than two years later, Durant still tends to personal projects in OKC. He left the place, but never supported him.
If Durant leaves the Warriors and is practically expected, he will still have links to the Bay Area. And the fans do not feel as abandoned as those in Oklahoma.
For Warriors, fans knew from the moment Durant signed that he was a luxury. The warriors were tall before he arrived, but his presence showed the likelihood of a dynasty. This was certainly Stephen Curry's team, but Durant was the ultimate collaborator.
And now that Durant has put so much emphasis on wanting the ball in the final seconds of a game in November, a break is breaking. Durant clapped and called for the ball. Green hit back, so to speak, and went to the nuclear area.
[POOLE: Drama has Warriors in an emotional fog]
Green says he's the occasionally caustic vocal presence he always had when Durant would go, Well, they've written some history.
Durant says he never wants to be asked about his relationship with Green, as he has nothing to do with it except to deal with his relationship with Westbrook.
Durant did not join the warriors for the drama. He got a lot of grief and damnation for leaving the Thunder, and he got another charge for joining the Warriors.
And now, even as a hugely successful warrior, does he get it from a teammate?
Durant, even as Warriors executives throw rose petals to try Cajole, she can not possibly be satisfied.