Monday night was an emotional experience for everyone in the Golden State Warriors organization.
The Warriors, with their backs against the wall, extended the NBA Finals with a dramatic Game 5 win over the Toronto Raptors. The victory sends the Finals back to Golden State where the two-time defending champions have a chance to even the series.
But they will do so without Kevin Durant, as Monday night’s win came at a very costly expense. Durant made his long-awaited return to the lineup from a calf injury, and he looked very good early in the game. However, the two-time Finals MVP felt something go in his leg early in the second quarter, and he was lost for the rest of the night. The Warriors announced Durant suffered an Achilles injury, and they reportedly fear Durant tore the tendon.
After the game, Warriors general manager Bob Myers went to the podium and was in tears before even speaking. He announced the “new” Achilles injury before explaining the process and timetable that led to Durant’s return for Game 5.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame,” Myers said, choking back tears, “but I understand that this world, if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department.
“Let me tell you something about Kevin Durant: Kevin Durant loves to play basketball. And the people who questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong. I’m not here to … he’s one of the most misunderstood people. He’s a good teammate, a good person. It’s not fair. I’m lucky to know him.”
Myers said Durant would undergo an MRI on Tuesday when they will learn the true severity of the injury. Meyers also was quick to defend the Warriors’ medical staff against any insinuation or question that maybe Golden State rushed Durant back to game action.
“I don’t have all the information on what really, the extent of what it all means until we get an MRI, but the people that worked with him and cleared him are good people. They’re good people.”
ESPN’s Rachel Nichols shared the following anecdote after the press conference ended.
Thumbnail photo via John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports Images