Warriors

Kevin Durant doesn't blame Warriors for Achilles injury in NBA Finals

Kevin Durant doesn't blame Warriors for Achilles injury in NBA Finals

From the time that Kevin Durant injured his right calf in Game 5 of the Warriors' second-round matchup with the Rockets to when he played in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the star forward had missed nine games. He was out for just over one month. 

Once Durant ruptured his Achilles after playing slightly under 12 minutes in his return, the outside chatter began. Many speculated the Warriors either rushed KD back while they were down three-games-to-one against the Raptors, or they mishandled his original injury. 

All that matters is Durant's opinion. And he recently made that loud and clear to Yahoo's Chris Haynes

“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant told Haynes. “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 [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] working out every day. Right when the series started, I targeted Game 5. Hell, nah. It just happened.

"It’s basketball. S--t happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s--t because I’m going to be back playing.”

Before Durant signed with the Nets in free agency, Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported the two-time Finals MVP was "really pissed" with the Warriors. Clearly, that wasn't true. Even Durant's former Thunder teammate Kendrick Perkins said the Warriors "misdiagnosed" his calf injury. Maybe Perk should have asked KD before talking. 

Durant also says the Warriors trailing the Raptors in the Finals had no weight on his return. When it comes down to it, the 10-time All-Star breathes basketball. He always had a target date to be back on the court, and he just wanted to play again.

“No matter what the series was, I was aiming for Game 5,” Durant told Haynes. “That’s why I played when it was 3-1. No matter what, I just wanted to play in the Finals. I just wanted to hoop, especially if I could bd be out there. I was feeling good leading up to it. I was working out every day. I was gradually getting back to myself doing the two-a-days.

"I was really locked in on my game and trying to get back. I really wanted to play in that series.”

[RELATED: Kerr forever left with fond memories of KD's days with Dubs]

Pointing fingers and playing the blame game creates headlines. Durant is not here for that.

He cherished his time with the Warriors, and it's clear he holds no ill will towards the franchise that added a historic chapter to his career.

Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over'

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Klay Thompson proclaims Warriors' championship dynasty 'far from over'

All the national pundits and talking heads have danced on the grave of the Warriors' dynasty.

With Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston gone, and Klay Thompson out for a large portion of the upcoming season after ACL surgery, most believe the Warriors' reign of dominance is over.

But Thompson isn't listening to the noise. The Warriors might be down, but they aren't out.

"The dynasty ain't over," Klay said Friday during the second annual Thompson Family Foundation golf tournament in Newport Beach, Calif. "It's far from over."

After five season atop the NBA mountain, the Warriors no longer are the favorites to win the title, and they will look vastly different this season.

At the beginning of the season, Steph Curry and Draymond Green will be flanked by newcomers D'Angelo Russell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Instead of Durant at the starting small forward spot, Warriors coach Steve Kerr might go with Alfonzo McKinnie.

Super Death Lineup this is not.

Making matters tougher for the Warriors is the improvement of other teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers, Lakers, Jazz and Rockets all made blockbuster moves over the summer, while the Nuggets and Blazers return teams that were top-four playoff seeds in the West last season.

But once Thompson returns in February or March, the Warriors will be able to close games with a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Russell, Green and Kevon Looney, who signed a three-year contract in the offseason.

[RELATED: Eight things Warriors need to do to make playoffs]

As Green said last week, no one will want to face the Warriors in the playoffs. That will be especially true if Thompson is 100 percent in April.

Durant isn't around anymore, but the dynasty isn't dead until Curry, Thompson and Green say it is.

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Magic Johnson can't believe Kevin Durant was unhappy with Warriors

Kevin Durant came to the Warriors in 2016 in pursuit of a family and NBA titles.

Despite all the winning the Warriors did with Durant, he told the Wall Street Journal last week that he never quite felt like one of the guys. That possibly had something to do with him refusing to commit long term to the Warriors. It's hard for a family to accept you when you have one foot in the house and the other on the front porch.

NBA legend Magic Johnson can't begin to fathom Durant's logic in leaving for the Brooklyn Nets after three seasons and two championships in the Bay.

"KD, I hope that he finds happiness," Johnson said Friday on ESPN's First Take. "If you can't find happiness at Golden State, where are you going to find it at?

“First of all, give Steph Curry a lot of credit for saying, 'I'm a two-time MVP. I'm willing to take a backseat because I want to win.' Give Klay Thompson a lot of credit, because you know whose game suffered the most? Klay Thompson. He used to get a lot more touches before KD got there, and he said, 'I'm OK with that as long as we win a championship.' Draymond Green, even he had to take a backseat.

"So, Kevin, if you won back-to-back titles, you won MVP of the Finals as well, where are you going to find happiness at? I just want him to find happiness because when I look at Michael Jordan, when I look at Kobe Bryant, this brother, Kevin Durant, is one of the greatest scorers we've seen in NBA history, so I just want him to be happy. I just don't know where he's going to find it at if he can't find it at Golden State."

We imagine every single Warriors fan feels the same way as Magic does.

[RELATED: Durant shows no sign of limp after surgery]

Unlike Thunder fans, Warriors fans don't hold any ill will toward Durant. They're just puzzled by his decision to leave. He had everything he wanted in the Bay Area, and Golden State could have offered more money. Yet he still decided to leave.

But maybe Durant never will be happy in the same spot for too long. It's possible that in three years, Nets fans find themselves wondering why Durant wasn't happy, just like Warriors fans are right now.