Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports sat down with Nets forward Kevin Durant earlier this week to discuss several notable topics, including how the 30-year-old star perceives the opinion of some that the Warriors mishandled Durant’s return from a Grade 2 right calf strain. His response?
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no. I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back. It was only me and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It’s basketball. S— happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s— because I’m going to be back playing.”
Durant also spoke about his choice to sign with Brooklyn, saying that the decision was not made until the morning of June 30, as he didn’t want to “disrespect the game” by putting his focus on the future during the season. Interestingly, he also said that he only considered the Warriors and the Nets as potential destinations.
Of course, speculation ran rampant throughout the entire 2018/19 season that the Knicks were a strong, if not primary contender to land both Durant and Kyrie Irving this summer. In response, Durant said “If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets. They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building.”
There’s more from Durant’s interview with Haynes, which is worth a read in its entirety:
- Speaking on how some Toronto fans cheered and applauded his injury before several Raptors players signaled the crowd to stop, Durant smirked and said, perhaps with a suggestion of karma, “It will probably be the last time they will be in the Finals.”
- Durant had a difficult time watching the remainder of Game 5 from his hotel room, even turning the channel at one point before flipping back later to cheer on his teammates.
- Durant would not confirm that he will miss the entire 2019/20 season, leaving open the possibility that he could return before season’s end.
- Durant’s perspective on the entire injury situation is a positive one, saying “Yeah, I still think about that night… that one is definitely always going to be a huge part of my career because it’s the biggest stage and the type of injury I had. But now I look at it as me just going out there playing basketball, and I happened to get hurt. And now I’m just waiting to get back. I know it’s a huge deal to everybody else, but I just try to take it on the chin and keep it moving.”