"Hard to believe Kevin Durant had Achilles surgery, the way he's playing" - Draymond Green on Durant's stellar season after return from injury

Draymond Green, right, is in disbelief watching how good Kevin Durant, left, has been this season. [Photo: Sporting News]
Draymond Green, right, is in disbelief watching how good Kevin Durant, left, has been this season. [Photo: Sporting News]

Draymond Green, who has had a long history playing with and against Kevin Durant, is almost out of words expressing how good KD is. Green highlighted his praise on KD’s mind-boggling performance just two years removed from a brutal injury that likely cost them another NBA championship.

In an episode of the "Draymond Green Show" podcast, Green, a Golden State forward, made special mention of Kevin Durant’s unbelievable season for the Brooklyn Nets.

Here’s what the leading candidate for Defensive Player of the Year had to say:

“You can’t tell me this dude had Achilles surgery. Obviously, I know he did. I spent time with him post-Achilles surgery. But it's hard to believe Kevin Durant had Achilles surgery the way he's playing. I mean, at the level that he's at every single night, the minutes he's playing, like that's insane.”

Green’s podcast focused initially on Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving’s return and the NBA's COVID-19 outbreak. Green talked about how Irving’s return would affect Brooklyn's chemistry, continuity and execution with the superstar point guard in and out of the lineup. Irving will only be able to play in road games because of a mandate in New York City.

Only a handful of players in the NBA are uniquely qualified to comment about Durant’s play the last couple of years. Green is one of them. They have been bitter rivals in the "Slim Reaper’s" days with OKC Thunder. And they were inseparable teammates with the Golden State Warriors, winning two championships, and USA Basketball team, winning two gold medals in the Olympics.

After leaving Golden State for Brooklyn, Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season with an Achilles tendon injury. He was then limited to 35 games with a hamstring injury last season. He averages 29.7 points (leading the NBA), 7.9 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 37.0 minutes per game this season.

If their current teams reach their full potential, they could meet in a mouthwatering NBA Finals.

Green, the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year, has an almost-obsessive desire to test himself against the very best. Green went on record saying Durant is his most-anticipated matchup simply because of the nearly unmatched challenge KD brings.


Will Kevin Durant and Draymond Green meet in the NBA Finals?

Kevin Durant versus Draymond Green will be one of the biggest subplots if they meet in the NBA Finals this season. [Photo: Sky Sports]
Kevin Durant versus Draymond Green will be one of the biggest subplots if they meet in the NBA Finals this season. [Photo: Sky Sports]

The 75th NBA season is just two months old and already facing adversity due to surging COVID cases. All teams will have to face and resolve issues regarding player availability, chemistry and continuity caused by virus protocols.

The Brooklyn Nets had their Thursday game at Portland canceled Wednesday by the NBA. Brooklyn will not have the league-required minimum of eight players needed to play that game.

The imminent return of Klay Thompson and Kyrie Irving could help their teams set up a mega-showdown between superstars in the NBA Finals. Golden State's Thompson missed the 2019-20 season with a knee injury and last season with an Achilles tendon injury. The Nets recently reversed their decision to sideline the unvaccinated Irving, because he would only be available for road games.

Irving’s availability in road games alone is still something to watch. But with the Nets already fielding G League players, having the mercurial point guard would be a big boost even in limited games. Irving, however, is currently in health and safety protocols. Should he return soon enough, he will be able to play a maximum of 24 road games.

The biggest impact of Irving's return could be in providing crucial rest for Durant and James Harden, who have had to shoulder the load for the Nets (21-9).

Green and the Warriors (25-6) are one of the favorites to come out of the West if Thompson makes a successful return.

If Brooklyn can figure out how to incorporate Irving, Green might just get his wish of playing against Kevin Durant on the biggest stage in the NBA.

(However, should a Nets-Warriors matchup materialize, Irving would not be allowed to play because of COVID mandates in New York City and San Francisco.)

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein