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.

Why Warriors' Eric Paschall, Draymond Green have 'great' chemistry

Why Warriors' Eric Paschall, Draymond Green have 'great' chemistry

Can Draymond Green and Eric Paschall thrive together for the Warriors?

That's a question that was asked a lot this season, and the truth is that we still don't have a definitive answer.

Draymond is Golden State's starting power forward, which is the position Paschall prefers playing.

During a Zoom conversation Monday afternoon with NBC Sports Bay Area, the rookie discussed his on-court relationship with the 2017 NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

"He's been on the floor in the biggest games possible. Just learning from him," Paschall said. "Whenever me and him are on the floor, we talk a lot. We end up just having conversations. Say we do make a mistake, we'll just be like, 'This happened, this happened, so next time do this.'

"Me and his chemistry on the court is great. We talk about every possible situation offensively and defensively."

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If Paschall cements himself as a player who needs to be on the floor 30 plus minutes a night, one workaround for Steve Kerr and the coaching staff is for Draymond to log more minutes at center.

And that is something the 2015-16 NBA Coach of the Year already is thinking about.

[RELATEDPaschall picks starting lineup from Warriors coaches, execs]

"I was always very careful over the last five, six years not to play him too many minutes at center," Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic a couple weeks ago. "But I think the league has changed pretty dramatically, and I can see him playing more minutes at the five.

"I don't think there would be any problem with that ... if Draymond is on the floor, he just guards anybody he wants because he's that good. If we decide to play him at the five and Eric at the four, we're gonna have a lot of shooting on the floor next to those guys -- and play-making -- and I think that's a combination that can work."

It just might need to work for the Warriors to be at their best moving forward.

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Stanford doctor draws Steph Curry, Klay Thompson art on Etch A Sketch


Stanford doctor draws Steph Curry, Klay Thompson art on Etch A Sketch

Healthcare professionals worldwide have been the true heroes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, putting their lives on the line to save the suffering. It has been hard for doctors and nurses to deal with the stresses brought on by overwhelming and exhausting shifts at overcrowded hospitals during these dire times, but one particular physician has found a creative way to find some solace in his minimal free time.

Dr. Greg Adamson, a fellow in pediatric cardiology at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, drew this impressive piece of art of Warriors stars Steph Curry and Klay Tompson on an Etch A Sketch.

Adamson finished the drawing last Saturday. He has been a Warriors fan since moving to the Bay Area for college in 2005, and he has a home in mind for his Splash Brothers artwork.

"I have a way to make them permanent and I usually give them as gifts," Adamson told NBC Sports Bay Area. "This one will likely find its way to a good friend of mine that's a die-hard Warriors fan."

[RELATED: Zaza buys lunch for healthcare workers helping fight virus]

Drawing on an Etch A Sketch can be daunting, Adamson said. One small mistake can ruin the whole project.

"The preparation takes me an hour or two," he explained. "Choosing the photo and drawing it out, making a plan where it can all be done with one continuous line, since, of course, you can’t stop the line to move the styles. Then, I start with the most difficult part -- in this case, Steph’s beautiful face -- just in case I mess up (and then) I can erase and start over. The rest took about four hours."

Adamson, and all other healthcare workers fighting for their patients' lives, deserve great admiration and appreciation. An Etch A Sketch drawing pales in comparison to their heroic efforts, but a simple, beautiful piece of artwork can go a long way amid all of the anxiety and pain of this health crisis.

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