NBA News: Kevin Durant rubbishes reports claiming that the Warriors rushed him back
It has been two months since Kevin Durant tore his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 Finals. Numerous reports and tweets had the Warriors being blamed for this unfortunate injury, and this is the first time that the 10x All-Star has spoken out about what happened on June 11.
“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."
This was Durant's immediate response to Yahoo Sports when asked whether he thought the Warriors mishandled his injury.
The 30-year-old and the Warriors were the clear favorites to win the title last season. However, things took a turn when their players started going down with injuries.
With Curry recovering from a foot sprain and playing with a dislocated finger, Cousins playing with a quad injury that had clearly not fully healed yet, Iguodala returning early from a hamstring injury, and Looney playing with a fractured collared bone, reports started to surface that the Warriors were pressuring KD to help the depleted squad.
When he finally returned in Game 5 of the Finals, just a month after he strained his calf, people were concerned that the forward was forced to rush back as the Dubs were down 3-1. Even Perkins, who claims to regularly talk to his 'brother', came out and said that the Warriors players and staff pressured the two-time Finals MVP into getting back much earlier than deemed fit.
However, Durant further clarified in his interview:
"...Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened. It’s basketball. Sh*t happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that sh*t because I’m going to be back playing.”
There you have it. As previous statements by the Warriors have issued, the decision was a collaborative effort and that both the Warriors' medical staff and KD's doctors cleared him to play.