Two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant does not blame the Golden State Warriors for the torn Achilles tendon he suffered in the NBA Finals, Yahoo Sports reported on Wednesday.
Durant, who signed a four-year deal worth $164 million with the Brooklyn Nets last month, was hurt in game five of the NBA Finals after trying to make a comeback from a right calf strain.
The 30-year-old forward, who sparked the Warriors to the 2017 and 2018 NBA titles, told the website he had nothing against the Warriors regarding his decision to play in game five against the Toronto Raptors in June’s best-of-seven championship series.
“Hell, no. How can you blame (the Warriors)?” Durant told Yahoo Sports.
“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 Rick (Celebrini, Golden State’s sports medicine director) working out every day.
“Right when the series started, I targeted game five. Hell, nah. It just happened.
“Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that (idea) because I’m going to be back playing.”
There was immediate concern in the wake of the injury after barely one quarter of action by Durant that the Warriors had rushed him back onto the court because they were trailing 3-1 in the series and that the worse injury will sideline him for the upcoming 2019-20 season.
All involved with the Warriors, including coach Steve Kerr, said that the decision to send Durant onto the court was one he agreed to after doctors said the worst thing he could do was reaggravate the calf strain that had benched him since earlier in the playoffs.
The Warriors lost to Toronto in six games to make the Raptors the first club from outside the United States to claim the NBA crown.
But Durant warned that in the wake of top scorer Kawhi Leonard’s departure for the Los Angeles Clippers “it will probably be the last time they will be in the finals.”