The Warriors had a rocky start to their season after the infamous altercation between Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, but coach Steve Kerr likes how the team has turned itself around amid the drama.
“We’re light years ahead,” Kerr joked Friday (via The Mercury News).
Green and Durant got into a verbal altercation at the end of regulation against the Clippers on Nov. 12 after Green failed to get a shot off on the final play. The confrontation reportedly continued in the locker room after a 121-116 overtime loss, although Kerr denied claims Green questioned Durant about his impending free agency. The Warriors then suspended Green one game for “conduct detrimental to the team.”
Golden State (32-14) has now won seven straight after topping the Clippers 112-94 on Friday, and key players are healthy. Stephen Curry, who missed 11 games with a groin injury, and Green, who missed a combined 13 games with a toe injury, are back and have made big contributions.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” Kerr said. “I’m really proud of how far we’ve come and how our guys have gotten to this point playing at a high level and playing through frustration and playing through adversity.
“As a coach its your job to manage the situation and try to help the guys get back on the right track. Playing in the league was definitely a big help for me in experiencing those ups and downs and helping me figure out how to help as a coach.”
One player who helped the team get through all the drama was DeMarcus Cousins, who made his Warriors debut Friday after spending the past year rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon. Cousins separated Green from the team and told him “to lock in” after the altercation, according to The Mercury News.
“No need to go into detail. It’s not about what I said,” Cousins said. “Those two guys made a decision to get over it for the betterment of ourselves and the team. That’s all that really matters.”
“I don’t really think it’s something we thought about. It was a little bump in the road. It’s a team. There’s going to be disagreements and arguments, and it won’t be the last one. It’s about overcoming that and getting the job done, which those guys did. I don’t think it’s a thought.”