The Golden State Warriors' worst fears were confirmed: Kevin Durant suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night, and he had surgery Wednesday.
Just moments after coach Steve Kerr told the media the team had no update on its two-time NBA Finals MVP, Durant posted a photo from a hospital bed.
In his post, Durant didn't provide a timetable for his return, but said in part "… basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that's what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat."
Kevin Durant heads to the locker room after injuring his Achilles. (Photo: Chris Young, The Canadian Press via AP)
In his remarks during media availability for Game 6, Kerr said: “We don't have any news on Kevin right now. Our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a re-injury of the calf. That was the advice and information we had. At that point once Kevin was cleared to play he was comfortable with that so the Achilles came as a complete shock.
“I don't know what else to add to that other than had we known this was a possibility that this was even in the realm of possibility there’s no way we would have allowed Kevin to come back. It’s devastating."
Before his return to the court Monday, Durant had missed over a month with a calf strain in the same leg. The recovery time for an injury like this can be up to a year. Durant almost certainly will miss the entire 2019-20 season.
The Warriors were overcome with emotion after the game and president of basketball operations Bob Myers fought back tears during a news conference and said if you have to blame someone, blame him. DeMarcus Cousins called out everyone who has questioned Durant's heart. Durant said that he's "hurting deep in the soul."
In the short term, the Warriors are down 3-2 against the Raptors and must win two games to capture their third consecutive championship. Doing it without Durant, arguably the best player in the league and one of the most gifted scorers of all time, will be a tall task. Game 6 is Thursday in Oakland (9 p.m. ET, ABC).
In the long term, the Warriors' future with Durant is murky. Durant has a player option and can become a free agent this summer, and while it has long been believed that he's going to leave Golden State, his injury — and the result of these Finals — may impact his decision.
Contributing: Dan Wolken in Oakland, California
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