I am not sure who to be upset with the most for exploiting Kevin Durant: his agent, the Warriors’ front office, or Steve Kerr.
If you missed the injury, you can see it below:
This was heartbreaking.
Durant was originally injured in the Western Conference Finals against Portland about a month ago, and it was evident that his injury was serious. They called it a calf strain.
Durant is a grown man. and he can make his own decisions. However, where was the person who kept him from making this awful one? After being rushed back onto the court, Durant is facing maybe more than a year away from basketball and a potentially permanent hit to his game.
I find it very interesting that the Warriors sat Klay Thompson for a game with a much less serious injury, but when they fell down 3-1 they give Durant the green light. If the series was switched, Durant would not have played, plain and simple. It was truly a desperation move.
Many thought Durant wouldn’t play at all based off of the original injury. He reacted like he tore his Achilles during that play.
Everybody in the NBA world owes Kawhi Leonard a huge apology. Everybody scrutinized him last year for sitting out and making sure he was 100% right. He even went and got a second opinion. That now seems to be a smart move. Look at Kawhi now. A team doctor’s job is to get you back on the floor as soon as possible. Especially, when a championship is on the line. Of course, Golden State’s staff gave him the green light. Rob Parker made this point and I found it very compelling. There is a conflict of interest.
Bob Myers, the GM of the Warriors, used to be an agent. There is no chance in hell when Myers was representing players, he would have let any of them play under these circumstances. Durant was literally out for almost a month, didn’t even complete a full practice, and was reportedly not even close to 100%. Durant is a competitive guy. This is evident in how he reacts on social media and to criticism. There were many reports that people around the Warriors were beginning to question his urgency to return with free agency just around the corner. Well, I hope those “people” are happy because Durant suffered greatly from the peer pressure.
If anything, the Toronto Raptors winning would legitimize all of Durant’s rings. Him coming back and saving the dynasty would have been an even better story. He would have been not only a sports legend. Instead, everybody loses.
I genuinely feel like the little sad act from Myers was disrespectful because now he may be able to bring back the world’s best player for the low. He was manipulating his voice to sound sad and shook, almost like he was about to cry. Yet, his eyes weren’t even watering.
The Warriors didn’t care about Durant’s health as much as Thompson’s. He was as good as gone, heading to New York or even LA. Now, he sees that they cannot win without him and looking at a long recovery process, maybe Durant views this as a legitimate reason to rethink his free agency plans and stay. That would mean once again, the Warriors cheaply and silently win.
I would bet money if Durant had already opted into his player option or signed an extension, he would not have played in the 2019 NBA Finals. They would have protected their long-term asset.
It was the Warriors’ last chance at a 3-peat and they sacrificed the health of Kevin Durant for it.
You are telling me nobody on the staff saw this scenario unfolding? Apparently, the team staff told him he had no chance of hurting himself more. The Warriors should reevaluate their medical staff after this blunder, if you ask me.
The worst of all of this crude exploitation is Kerr completely blowing off media questions about 2 minutes into this video:
Kerr has made countless points on politics, other players, and jokes more than often, but he couldn’t comment on the health of his #1 player and the decision to play him. What. A. Damn. Joke. I lost a lot of respect for Kerr after that.
We don’t know if Durant will ever be the same again. Was it really worth it? The Warriors owe Durant.
Here is an update from the man himself: