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Is the King Dead?

Brian Taylor

Posted on November 21, 2018 21:14

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The foundation of a dynasty* is beginning to crack and the Golden State Warriors are in real trouble.

It's been a little over a week since the Golden State Warriors cruised into Los Angeles and took an overtime L to the surprisingly good Clippers. These Warriors might be built to win every game, but that's just not realistic over an 82 game grind. Losses happen, but this one was magnified as Kevin Durant treated Draymond Green like Lebron James famously did JR Smith in last year's Finals after Green tried to play hero in regulation and failed spectacularly. The tension bubbled over to the bench with Green calling KD some not nice names, questioning his loyalty to the team, and then in the locker room when he reportedly told KD he wasn't needed for the Warriors to win, as they'd already done it without him.

The Warriors responded by suspending Green for the next game, a lifeless victory over Atlanta at home, and followed that up by getting swept on a three-game Texas swing, dropping them out of the top spot in the West. 

It's not even Thanksgiving, so it's hardly time to panic about the results, but it's hard to overlook the tension brewing with the defending champs.

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both looking at free agency at the end of the season was always going to be a bit of a distraction, particularly with the assumption that one of them, possibly Durant, would be moving on. 

It's become well known that Kevin Durant has the thinnest skin of any superstar athlete in sports. All it takes is being called a "cupcake" or "cheesebutt" to get under his skin, and that's not even getting into his faux tough guy posturing, Twitter persona and burner accounts. The Warriors suspending Green was a painfully obvious ploy by the Warriors to say "KD, please stay, he didn't mean it."

I've never seen a team suspend a player over an internal spat, and Draymond can't be happy with the team humiliating him and siding with Durant. Green may not be the best player on the team, far from it. Make Draymond the face of your franchise and you'd be sweating out ping pong balls in May rather than playing for rings, but he has been an intangible piece of the Warriors dynasty* providing the defense and getting in opponents ears behind Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. 

As Green pointed out in his rant, the Warriors won in 2015 without Durant and were a blown 3-1 lead away from winning again in 2016 before Durant came on board. Both the legacy of the Warriors and Durant will always have an asterisk next to it, with KD joining a team that had won 73 games in the regular season and creating a new "super team." The Warriors didn't need Durant to win, but they did need him to maintain their place atop the NBA. 

The Warriors need both KD and Draymond to continue their dynasty*, and pitting one against the other could only to fester as the season grinds on.

Brian Taylor

Posted on November 21, 2018 21:14

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