Few fans expected Kevin Durant to return from a Grade 2 calf strain during the 2019 NBA Finals. So when he was pulled from Game 5 after sustaining an Achillies injury, fans were quick to blame the Warriors for allowing him to return.
But one person isn’t blaming Golden State — Durant.
“Hell, no. How can you blame (the Warriors)? Hell, no,” Durant told 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. (Expletive) happens,” he added. “Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that (expletive) because I’m going to be back playing.”
While we can see why some fans would point the finger at the Warriors. But based on Durant’s version of the story, it doesn’t appear as if Golden State was entirely in the wrong. If Durant truly was the one making the decision, and assuming the Warriors trusted him to be honest about his injury, then the blame sits on his shoulders.
But we’ll let you decide what to believe.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images