Conduct Detrimental to Durant

 USA Today wrote a story on December 28, 2013, detailing the motivation behind the Cleveland Cavaliers suspending forward Andrew Bynum indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the team.” According to the anonymous source, the suspension did not come as a result of some specific incident or altercation, but “a continued insistence from Bynum to do what he wants with little regard to team goals.”

            SBnation.com broke the story on January 2, 2014 that the Denver Nuggets suspended point guard Andre Miller for two games for “conduct detrimental to the team” after Miller got into an argument with head coach Brian Shaw in a loss to the 76ers. Miller ranted during the game about his lack of playing time, and feeling disrespected by the organization and his head coach.

           The Nuggets later rescinded the suspension and Miller was placed on personal leave until the following week.

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           Rajon Rondo has had his fair share of coaches and his fair share of suspensions. He just also happens to have the most amount of fines related to his altercations with coaches. In 2015 the guard was suspended by the Dallas Mavericks for “conduct detrimental to the team” after an argument with head coach Rick Carlisle.

           In December of 2016, SBnation.com reported that then Chicago Bulls guard Rajon Rondo had a “heated exchange” with assistant coach Jim Boylen, and was suspended for one game due to his “conduct detrimental to the team.” According to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski, Rondo accepted responsibility and the Bulls were able to move forward.

          Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard J.R. Smith was suspended by his team for one game after he threw a bowl of soup at an assistant coach, Damon Jones.  NBA insider Bobby Marks reported that the bowl of soup might have been the most expensive bowl of soup Smith has ever paid for; the fine came to a total of $94,897.

          And finally, November 12, 2018, the Warriors suspended forward Draymond Green for “conduct detrimental to the team” after a mid/post-game argument with teammate Kevin Durant. Before we dive into the details of the situation in Golden State, take note of the fact that the list above does not include any other incidents when a player was suspended for “conduct detrimental to the team” resulting from an altercation with a teammate.

         At this point we all know that Draymond Green did not throw a bowl of soup at Kevin Durant, but he did send a few choice words his way. According to SI.com, Green, “in addition to calling Kevin Durant a b—- several times, Warriors All-star Daymond Green also dared [Durant] to leave in free agency.” The report goes on to say that Green told Durant that he was not needed, and that the team was successful before his arrival, calling on the 2015 championship as evidence. Durant will be a free-agent at the end of this basketball season. 

       Teammates fight, teammates argue, and sometimes that fight can be detrimental to the team. However, what conduct was it exactly that Green was being suspended for? The lead up to the game? The lead up to the argument? Or the lead up to the off-season? 

           There is no question that Draymond’s stats have taken a dip since the start of the 2018 -2019 season. In fact, his three point percentage has gone down so considerably teams have left him open in the 3-point range consistently. Going into last Monday’s game against the LA Clippers, Green did not seem to be playing his best basketball, and without All-Star Stephen Curry to lead them into battle, the rest of the Warriors appeared to be lacking as well.

         The Clippers led the game from  the opening tip, and seemed to be determined to outplay the defending champion Warriors. With a 14-point deficit and the clock showing six minutes remaining in the game, Kevin Durant led the Warriors on a huge run, preventing the Clippers from scoring for the last 5 minutes of the game.

          Although one splash brother was out, the other half- Klay Thompson – was able to tie the game with a long distance three-pointer. Although the Clippers were in a drought, Lou Williams with the ball in the last few possessions of the game is as close to Jordan as any other player in the NBA. He misses the go-ahead bucket, Warriors rebound, toss it up court to Kevin Durant, about thirty seconds remaining in the game and he pulls up from behind the arc, and misses.

          Again Lou Williams has a chance to put the Clippers in front, he dribbles down the clock, shows off his fancy dribbling, and pulls up just inside the arc. Again, he misses just off the front rim. Five seconds remaining, the ball is up for grabs and Green comes up with it. Four seconds remaining as he takes off up the court, Kevin Durant at his heels, clapping, jumping, begging for the ball. Green crosses mid-court, meets three Clippers defenders. Three seconds left. He dribbles the ball between two defenders, and with two seconds remaining, he loses control of the ball. One second left. Green hits the floor, reaches for the ball, and the clock expires.

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         The team heads to the huddle, and Klay Thompson can be seen laughing at the altercation that he and so many others were sure was soon to unfold. Durant and Green had to be separated during the break between regulation and overtime. The Warriors went on to lose the game, and the argument continued in the locker room. Green was later suspended without pay for one game by his team. The suspension cost Green about $215,670,00.

          We now know what Green said to Durant, and I must agree it should be classified as detrimental. However, detrimental to whom? Detrimental to Kevin Durant’s loyalty to the team? Does that necessarily equate to conduct detrimental to the team? Or were the Warriors showing Kevin Durant their willingness to keep him in Golden State?

          Before we part, consider this: Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was teammates with Michael Jordan in the nineties and they were fierce competitors. In the training camp of the 1995 season the two got into a fist fight which resulted in Kerr sporting a black eye for a few days. No one was suspended. The Bulls went on two win a Championship in 1996.

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