ESPN analyst Jay Williams had a hard time defending his friend Kevin Durant during Tuesday's edition of “First Take.” Williams, who takes part in “The Boardroom,” an ESPN+ show directed by Durant, has long been the star's public defender on the ESPN platform — though he failed epically when addressing Draymond Green's comments on how frustrating the 2018-19 season was for the Golden State Warriors.
Green expressed his frustrations about last season in a recent interview with Maverick Carter as part of Uninterrupted, citing Durant's indecision as a cause for some irk in the Warriors' locker room.
While Stephen A. Smith had no issue with Green addressing the question and giving insight on the situation, Williams was hell-bent on blaming Green for bringing up old stuff. After erroneously quoting Green, Stephen A. Smith was quick to bring up what was actually asked of the Warriors forward:
“They asked him a question about that season,” said Smith. “He said I HAD an issue. You started at Duke and you went to the NBA, nobody's ever asked you [what happened]?”
“My question is: what would you have Kevin Durant say in that situation?” asked Williams. “What Draymond Green would have felt like Kevin Durant needed to say in that situation that would have made it okay for Kevin Durant or Draymond Green or Stephen Curry.”
While this was already going out on a limb to protect Durant, it became all the more obvious when Williams burned his last match to protect the former Warriors star:
“All I'm saying is that if you're Draymond Green and he's saying, ‘Hey, I wish he would've said this' — [Durant] is being himself,'” said Williams. “He didn't know. If somebody doesn't know, what do you want him to do? Say I do know when I don't know?”
Williams' public defense of Durant fell apart completely here, as Durant himself admitted he knew he would leave the Warriors by halfway through the 2018-19 season:
“I knew just about the halfway point through the year,” Durant told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on the All The Smoke podcast back in February. “I could feel, you know, the separation between the two. Everybody was just waiting on me to make a decision on free agency — coaches, to my teammates, to the media — it’s like January and I’m like, ‘Yo, I’m just trying to hoop.’
As it turns out, Durant did know he would leave the Warriors, but it was already too late to turn back and tell the media it was one last hurrah. He also kept his teammates in the dark about that decision, but most players, including Green, had already grown confident KD was ready to part ways after one last playoff run in The Bay.