Kevin Durant Notes: Reactions, Ripple Effect, More

Even though he was cleared to play in Game 5, Warriors star Kevin Durant wasn’t “anywhere close” to 100%, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. As family members, teammates, and confidants checked in on his status during his recovery from a calf injury, Durant said throughout the process that he was still experiencing discomfort pushing off his right foot, Haynes adds.

There was some resentment throughout Durant’s recovery about the way the Warriors handled updates on his progress, according to Haynes, who notes that KD’s possible return became a daily talking point once the club didn’t simply rule him out indefinitely.

Durant is now facing a possible worst-case scenario, as he suffered an Achilles injury during his brief return on Monday night. While an MRI has yet to confirm the diagnosis, the Warriors believe he suffered a torn right Achilles tendon. An injury of that magnitude would sideline him not only for the rest of the NBA Finals, but for most or all of the 2019/20 season.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that Durant is heading to New York, rather than Oakland, for medical evaluations on his injured Achilles. The Warriors don’t expect to have an update on the two-time Finals MVP until at least late tonight or tomorrow morning, tweets Mark Medina of The Bay Area News Group.

Here’s more on Durant’s injury:

  • Warriors guard Shaun Livingston pushed back against the idea that the team’s front office or training staff should be blamed for Durant’s injury, per Howard Beck of Bleacher Report. “I know for a fact that our team, [GM] Bob [Myers] and [head coach] Steve [Kerr], and the training staff, is not going to compromise their integrity [just to win a game],” Livingston told Beck. “They’re always going to put a player first because they look at guys as humans.”
  • Durant’s injury will have a significant ripple effect on the rest of the NBA Finals and the coming offseason, according to John Gonzalez of The Ringer. Gonzalez writes that teams like the Knicks and Clippers, who would have killed to sign a healthy KD, may have to re-evaluate their approach to free agency — assuming Durant even opts out of his Warriors contract, which is no longer a lock at all.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post and Ian Begley of SNY.tv examine the impact of Durant’s injury on the Knicks, with both reporters suggesting that it may increase the likelihood of the franchise continuing a gradual rebuild rather than swinging for the fences this offseason.
  • While the Celtics were never considered a contender for Durant, Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston wonders if the injury could affect the team anyway. As Forsberg observes, there has long been speculation that Durant and Kyrie Irving would consider teaming up this summer. If Durant is expected to miss all or most of the 2019/20 season – or if he opts in with the Warriors – that scenario may no longer be on the table, which could in turn increase the odds of Irving sticking with Boston for at least one more year.
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26 thoughts on “Kevin Durant Notes: Reactions, Ripple Effect, More

  1. Luckylefty2

    Welp there goes Dolan’s tenure with the knicks. Didn’t get Zion, won’t get kyrie or KD. Unless knicks fans are ok with plan b. Which is kemba walker, Vucevic, Tobias Harris type players.

    • Bryzzo2016

      Terrible for KD, but financially he’ll likely (smartly) not opt out and take GS’s money while he rehabs/recovers. As far as the Knicks, wow! This franchise simply can’t catch a break. They’ve been the laughing stock of the NBA since they were relevant in the 90’s when Jordan smacked them around for a decade. I think the NBA would be stronger with at least a competitive Knick franchise, but I just don’t see a realistic path to that.

      • hopper15

        I wouldn’t opt in. I think now is the time for him to get some long term security.

        • phenomenalajs

          Where is his leverage if a team can’t insure his contract with a known major injury? The smartest thing would be for him to take the sure thing. GS may have insurance on his contract since this would be a continuation of an existing contract.
          I would’ve loved my Nets reeling in a healthy KD. They may need/want to convince D’lo and Kyrie of how good they would be together. I hope they don’t renounce the cap hold on D’lo since KD doesn’t look to be part of the equation for the coming year.

          • hopper15

            He doesn’t need leverage. There are already reports out there that he will still get max offers.

              • hopper15

                You think Woj and Bobby Marks are smoking something? I’ll take their word over yours anyway.

    • Rocket32

      I don’t think this really changes much for the Knicks anyway. I just can’t buy into all the talk. Why would KD actually join the Knicks? I’ll believe a guy like KD is joining the Knicks when it actually happens.

    • The Ghost of Bobby Bonilla

      I think this makes it very likely that Kyrie heads to Brooklyn, KD stays in GS for one more season to rehab, and probably goes to Brooklyn in 2020/2021.

      The Knicks now need to decide if R.J. Barrett is the real deal, or if not, step in to get AD. Their #3 pick trumps the Lakers’ #4 and maybe even what Boston can offer.

  2. JonnyLucas

    Uch!!! What a nightmare. Sorry, KD… I was one of those who desperately wanted you to play. Such a terrible and tragic shame. I pray he doesn’t need that surgery.

  3. tharrie0820

    Toronto fans were cheering for his injury cause deep down they know they wouldn’t win against a healthy KD. Classless

    • Hen1CHC

      In their defense they didn’t know it was achilles. Most fans likely viewed it as furthering a calf strain – something that wouldn’t derail his entire next year yet still help the Raptors win a championship.

      Not classless but certainly rude.

      • tharrie0820

        Cheering for an opposing teams player getting injured is classless. There’s no justifying it

        • C-Daddy

          Virtually any fan base would have had the same initial reaction given the circumstances. They were cheering for their increased odds of winning the championship, not for Durant’s injury. Once they realized what actually happened they stopped cheering.

          • x%sure

            They stopped because Raptor players were waving them off. The cheering was pronounced and otherwise long-winded and kind of psycho. Of course they seem to get into any other emotion too. Weird, it is said in the mid-90s as a new franchise they would just politely clap.

      • Luckylefty2

        BS, they knew once he got re-injured he was out the whole series. Can’t believe you just said “in their defense” smh.

    • vbac23

      Yeah like how Khawi got injured vs GS no one was crying for him or the spurs

      • arc89

        GSW fans did not cheer seeing him go down. They was not a loud applaud on knowing he was hurt. Big difference.

  4. Anthonybadabucchi

    Knicks can continue to rebuild the right way, we finally moving in the right direction we don’t need Kemba, Tobias or Middleton, I’m fine the way we going keep stacking pieces together

  5. snotrocket

    As someone who was calling KD soft for the past 2 weeks, I’ll admit I was wrong. He proved that he puts the team first last night.

    • ColossusOfClout

      Props for fessing up, man. You weren’t the only one calling him out.

  6. Meadowlark

    Until last night I’ve never seen a crowd cheer for an injury in 61 years of attending NBA games, and here I’m a constant proponent of the intrinsic politeness of Canadians. Egg all OVER my face. Who’s got salsa?

  7. talking baseball

    I had a lot of respect for the people of Toronto until they cheered when Durant when down. Bush league, classless, period the end.

  8. vbac23

    Chasing rings got injured, Aren’t injuries part of the game no sympathy here. Kawhi 2017

  9. x%sure

    The team doctors said it was a two-week, class 1 injury. I did not catch if they ever said otherwise.
    That set everyone up to expect him back. He returned probably for his legacy’s sake as much as winning. I initially thought he delayed his return on purpose so that his value to GSW is understood… But him waiting until the last possible opportunity strained that theory.

    There will be more to come, about what he knew or the FO or Kerr or the team or the doctors knew.

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