SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Kevin Durant said the Golden State Warriors are not to blame for his ruptured Achilles tendon, which happened in Game 5 of this year’s NBA Finals, firmly denying that the team mishandled his initial calf strain.
Durant gave the details in a recent interview in Los Angeles with Chris Haynes, Senior NBA Insider for Yahoo Sports, that was published Wednesday.
Haynes asked Durant if the team mishandled the calf injury he suffered against the Houston Rockets in the second round. Many analysts and commentators watching the injury live speculated that the initial injury seemed like an Achilles injury–it was later confirmed to be a calf strain, albeit a bad one.
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant replied. “I heard the Warriors pressured me into getting back. Nobody never said a word to me during rehab as I was coming back.”
He said he had been targeting a Game 5 return, especially since his Warriors were down 3-1 at the time. Durant said that basketball was the number one thing on his mind.
“I was really locked in on my game and trying to get back. I really wanted to play in that series,” he told Haynes. Durant went down in the second quarter after scoring 11 in the first quarter–his hot start and the rest of his season was abruptly stopped when his Achilles ruptured.
After the game, a tearful Bob Myers, the Warriors’ GM, 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.”
Durant had a successful surgery on his Achilles in New York on June 12.
After being traded in the offseason, Durant is now part of a superstar duo on the Brooklyn Nets, soon to be paired with guard Kyrie Irving pending Durant’s season-long recovery from his Achilles injury.