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Kevin Durant Finally Broke His Silence Since Injuring His Achilles

2019 NBA Finals - Game Five

Ever since Kevin Durant got hurt in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, we hadn’t heard a peep from him about the injury. We spent the following days on the internet trying to assign blame as to who was most responsible for the injury, if the Warriors pressured him back too quickly, if his injury was why he ended up leaving, the list goes on and on. Well he finally opened up about pretty much everything from his injury to his beef with Draymond to his new basketball home with Chris Haynes and it’s a pretty interesting read.

On blaming the Warriors for his injury

“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. 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,” he said. “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 bd 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.”

Is this the truth? Maybe we’ll never know, but Durant tends to be a pretty honest guy so I take him at his word. I feel like the Warriors told him he couldn’t injure it further, he worked out and felt OK, and then the freak accident happened. As he said shit happens. Now they could have been overly cautious and held him out no matter what, but if Durant says he’s good to go and is willing to accept the risk, I don’t blame the Warriors front office/coaches for playing him.

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On his beef with Draymond

“Hell, yeah, I’m tired of talking about that s—. Look, we’re grown men,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “We understand what this is. We’re playing basketball for a living. It’s a business.

To be honest, maybe we all ran with that a little too much when it happened in real time. It obviously didn’t prevent them from making the Finals and they probably win if not for their injuries, and seeing as how Draymond just got his massive extension I’m sure there’s no hard feelings. You sort of have to know that if you’re going to be a teammate of Draymond there’s a 65% chance he’s going to call you a bitch and you’re going to get into a fight.

It also doesn’t hurt that last year proved the Warriors did in fact need Kevin Durant to win, so maybe Draymond was wrong there.

On choosing the Nets

“Because I wanted to,” Durant said. “The basketball was appealing.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard Durant say this, but I still have a hard time believing it. In fact I did a deep dive comparing how both the Warriors and Nets play and basically the Nets play a slightly more shitty version of the Warriors style. If he was so attracted to the brand of basketball they were playing, he should have just stayed in GS where they play that system better with better talent.

That’s why I think there’s more to the story here that we’ll probably never know. That he wanted to be “the man” again and all that other bullshit. But to say you went solely because the basketball was appealing is a tough sell for me.

“If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets,” Durant said. “They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building.”

Now this is interesting because we were all under the impression that before he got hurt the plan was to head to the Knicks. Remember that video above was long before the Nets opened up enough room for 2 max slots. At the time that was the Knicks. Once BKN opened up space, there were reports from everyone that it was Kyrie that convinced Durant to actually head to BKN, so I guess that’s all bullshit and the Knicks never really had a chance. At least that should be comforting to know that a freak injury didn’t prevent that move from happening, instead it was their asshole owner!

I think it’s a little naive to think that Durant would openly trash the Warriors for how everything went down even if that’s truly how he felt, but there’s still a lot in that piece that I found juicy. Probably that BKN was always the only other option. If anything that combined with all the Kawhi false reporting just goes to show that really nobody really knows dick when it comes to the offseason moves of some of these elite guys. Sure some of their moves are predictable like Kyrie going to BKN, but maybe remember all this once we get to next summer and we start the rumor mill up once again.