© Kyle Terada | 2019 Jun 10
Kevin Durant hasn’t spoken publicly since rupturing his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and since then many have speculated that the Warriors were to blame for his injury. Prominent members of the media have opined that Durant was rushed back, or that he actually ruptured his Achilles when he initially injured his calf against the Houston Rockets.
In an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Durant broke his silence on the injury and put an end to all the speculation.
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant told Haynes and Yahoo Sports. “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.
“No matter what the series was, I was aiming for Game 5. That’s why I played when it was 3-1. No matter what, I just wanted to play in the Finals. I just wanted to hoop, especially if I could be out there. I was feeling good leading up to it. I was working out every day. I was gradually getting back to myself doing the two-a-days. I was really locked in on my game and trying to get back. I really wanted to play in that series.”
In his three years with the Golden State Warriors, Durant played in three NBA championships, won two rings and was a back-to-back NBA Finals MVP. He averaged 25.8 points per game on 52.4/38.4/88.3% shooting in the regular season and averaged 29.6 points per game on 51.4/39.5/89.9% shooting during 48 playoff games.
After Durant announced his intention to sign with the Brooklyn Nets and leave the Golden State Warriors, Joe Lacob thanked him in a public statement and said “As long as I am Co-Chairman of this team, no player will ever wear #35 for the Warriors again.”
Read the full interview from Chris Haynes and Yahoo Sports here.