From the time that Kevin Durant injured his right calf in Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round matchup with the Rockets to when he played in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the star forward had missed nine games. He was out for just over one month.
Once Durant ruptured his Achilles after playing slightly under 12 minutes in his return, the outside chatter began. Many speculated the Warriors either rushed KD back while they were down three-games-to-one against the Raptors, or they mishandled his original injury.
All that matters is Durant's opinion. And he recently made that loud and clear to Yahoo's Chris Haynes.
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“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant told Haynes. “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--t happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s--t because I’m going to be back playing.”
Before Durant signed with the Nets in free agency, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported the two-time Finals MVP was "really pissed" with the Warriors. Clearly, that wasn't true. Even Durant's former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins said the Warriors "misdiagnosed" his calf injury. Maybe Perk should have asked KD before talking.
Durant also says the Warriors trailing the Raptors in the Finals had no weight on his return. When it comes down to it, the 10-time All-Star breathes basketball. He always had a target date to be back on the court, and he just wanted to play again.
Golden State Warriors
“No matter what the series was, I was aiming for Game 5,” Durant told Haynes. “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.”
Pointing fingers and playing the blame game creates headlines. Durant is not here for that.
He cherished his time with the Warriors, and it's clear he holds no ill will towards the franchise that added a historic chapter to his career.