TORONTO (CBS SF) — Fighting back tears during an emotional post-game appearance at the podium, Golden State Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers said he would take the blame for the Achilles injury Kevin Durant suffered during his brief Game 5 appearance.
Durant, who had been sidelined for several weeks since straining his right calf muscle during the Western Conference Finals against the Portland Trailblazers, returned to the court Monday night.
After getting off to a quick start in the first quarter with 11 points against the Toronto Raptors, Durant suffered yet another injury only minutes into the second period when he went down clutching at the back of his right leg towards the Achilles area. He was helped off the court back to the Warriors’ locker room and eventually left the arena on crutches.
Myers did not speak to the severity of the injury, but from his emotional reaction and the reaction of Head Coach Steve Kerr and fellow players Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, it was clear that the injury has ended Durant’s season.
Myers said he would take the blame for the decision to play Durant.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand in this world and if you have to, you can blame me,” Myers said. “I run our basketball operations department. And to tell you something about Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant loves to play basketball, and the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong.”
Myers said that he and Durant and team officials didn’t take the decision to bring him back lightly.
“Prior to him coming back, he went through four weeks with our medical team,” Myers explained. “It was thorough with multiple experts and multiple doctors and multiple MRIs. And we felt good about the process. He was cleared to play tonight. That was a collaborative decision.”
He also defended Durant, who some had criticized for not playing during the Finals, suggesting he was still considering continuing his career elsewhere as a free agent.
“He’s one of the most misunderstood people,” Meyers said of Durant. “He’s a good teammate, he’s a good person, it’s not fair. I’m lucky to know him.”
Durant is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. The severity of the injury will not be known until then.