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Kerr explains why Durant was cleared, says team didn’t think he could tear Achilles


OAKLAND — Warriors head coach Steve Kerr addressed reporters at the Warriors facility on Wednesday, for the first time since the team announced that Kevin Durant had suffered an Achilles injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Kerr addressed the chorus of criticism that has come the Warriors way, much of which centers around the idea that Golden State was reckless for letting Durant play, and that the team was not honest about the nature of Durant’s original injury.

Kerr explained why neither of those takes are true:

I completely understand the world we live in. As Bob mentioned the other night, there’s going to be blame. There’s going to be finger pointing. We understand that and we accept that. This is kind of what you sign up for when you get into coaching, general management, in the NBA. There’s all kinds of coverage, judgment, criticism, and it’s all part of it. So we accept that. The main thing is our concern for Kevin and these last couple of days just checking on him. Obviously, everybody feels horrible for what happened. As Bob mentioned the other night, this last month was a cumulative collaborative effort in his rehabilitation. And that collaboration included Kevin and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, our medical staff, his own outside second opinion doctor, outside of our organization. Kevin checked all the boxes, and he was cleared to play by everybody involved.

Now, would we go back and do it over again? Damn right. But that’s easy to say after the results. When we gathered all the information, our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a re-injure of the calf. That was the advice and the information that we had. At that point, once Kevin was cleared to play, he was comfortable with that, we were comfortable with that. So the Achilles came as a complete shock. I don’t know what else to add to that, other than had we known that this was a possibility, that this was even in the realm of possibility, there’s no way we ever would have allowed Kevin to come back.

So it’s devastating, mostly for Kevin, obviously. But I feel horribly for Rick Celebrini as well, who is one of the best people I’ve ever been around and one of the smartest, brightest minds that I’ve ever been around. He’s devastated. Bob, the team, we all are. But we made the decision collaboratively with all the information that we had and we thought it was the right one.

Durant had surgery on the ruptured Achilles on Wednesday, and posted a post-surgery picture and message on Instagram.

 

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