Warriors general manager Bob Myers tearfully took the podium Monday night in Toronto, shortly after his team's Game 5 win in the NBA Finals, and announced Kevin Durant had suffered an Achilles injury.
Myers' opening statement was particularly striking, as the GM turned emotional and poured out his true feelings for a player who returned from a month-long absence because of a calf injury, only to go down again. Durant's season likely is over, and the Warriors will return home for Game 6 on Thursday hoping to extend the Finals to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday back in Toronto.
Here is Myers' full exchange with the media at Scotiabank Arena, including his opening statement:
Kevin, it's an Achilles injury. I don't know the extent of it. He'll have an MRI tomorrow. Prior to coming back, he went through four weeks with a medical team, and it was thorough, and it was experts and multiple MRIs and multiple doctors, and we felt good about the process.
He was cleared to play tonight -- that was a collaborative decision. I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand in this world, and if you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department. And to tell you something about Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant loves to play basketball, and the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong.
And I'm not here to -- he's one of the most misunderstood people. He's a good teammate, he's a good person, it's not fair. I'm lucky to know him. I don't know -- I don't have all the information on what really the extent of what it all means until we get an MRI, but the people that worked with him and cleared him are good people, they're good people.
With all due respect, what's your reason to say to point the finger at you?
Because I am the president of basketball. If you have to. I don't think there's anybody to blame, but I get it, that stuff happens. I hope nobody does, I don't think it should land on anybody, but if you feel like you need to ...
Can you just talk about Kevin's emotions and how he's feeling right now?
Sports is, it's people, sports is people. I know Kevin takes a lot of hits sometimes, but he just wants to play basketball, and right now, he can't. Basketball has gotten him through his life. So it means, I don't know that we can all understand how much it means to him. He just wants to play basketball with his teammates and compete.
Initially you guys diagnosed him with a calf injury. Was that the pure, full-out extent? Was it a calf injury now, what happened tonight equated to an Achilles injury?
The initial injury was a calf injury. This is not a calf injury. I'm not a doctor, I don't know how those are related or not, but it's a different injury.