How KD compares Draymond's punch to their 2018 conflict


Kevin Durant is no stranger to confrontation with Warriors forward Draymond Green.

But just as the pair moved past their differences during the Brooklyn Nets star’s time with Golden State, Durant has faith the Warriors won’t be derailed by Green punching Jordan Poole during practice last week.

Still, the two events are entirely different in Durant’s eyes -- his and Green’s disagreement was verbal, not physical.

“That’s not the same situation,” Durant told ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “Somebody got punched in the face … It’s no comparison to that. It was just some words that being -- I heard people say that happens a lot in the NBA. I had never seen nothing like that before.

“But what me and Draymond did a few years back, that s--t happens all the time. So it’s easy to get through something like that, but I don’t know what this situation is like.”

Green striking Poole during practice on Oct. 5 -- and the subsequent video of the incident that was leaked to the media -- naturally brought up reminders of how the Warriors veteran’s past incident with Durant caused similar strife in the team’s locker room.

Durant and Green eventually were able to amicably move forward from their November 2018 quarrel -- they most recently won gold together at last summer’s Tokyo Olympics. And after the Warriors announced Green’s punishment for punching Poole (a fine, not a suspension), Durant feels Golden State is doing the same.

“It seems cool, everybody’s back to normal,” Durant told Friedell. “Draymond is playing next game, Jordan was playing last game. So I guess it’s back to normal … It has nothing to do with anybody else but those people in the locker room.”

And those Warriors players in the locker room are the right people for the job, Durant believes, including many who helped the Warriors overcome internal conflict back when the two-time NBA Finals MVP was on the team.

“I think the best thing about the Warriors is their mantra’s been ‘Strength in Numbers’ that whole time,” Durant said, noting Steph Curry likely has had help from mainstays Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Klay Thompson and general manager Bob Myers in bringing the team back together.

“So you can’t deal with something like that by yourself. Steph knows that, Bob knows that. I know that from being a part of that group, that they do everything as a collaborative effort, so I’m sure they’re all talking internally as a group to see what’s the best way to move forward.”

RELATED: Report: Poole thought Draymond suspension wasn’t necessary

Durant told Friedell that a player punching their teammate is “very rare” and that he hasn’t seen anything similar across his 16-year NBA career. But his opinion doesn’t matter at the end of the day, Durant added, and he expressed hope that his former team will in fact move on without a hitch.

“I know that group,” Durant said. “That’s a strong group, tight-knit group. And I just hate to see that be seen in the public, what’s going on in practices and stuff.

“But hopefully they get that figured out and we can move forward.”

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