Kevin Durant, doubtful for Game 1, disputes notion Warriors are better without him
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant is unlikely to play in Game 1 of the NBA finals on Thursday against either the Toronto Raptors or Milwaukee Bucks.
Durant has missed the past five games with a right calf injury and he told reporters on Friday that he was initially worried that he had torn his achilles tendon.
“I’ve seen the clip on the screen and it’s like ‘that’s the achilles, that’s the achilles,’” Durant told reporters. “Obviously, everybody is going to be a little nervous until someone reassured me that it’s not.
“…I started walking and I realized I could put some weight on it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was pretty relieved.”
Asked to compare the current injury to previous calf injuries he’s sustained, Durant said that this one was much different.
“This is worse,” Durant said of the injury sustained against the Houston Rockets on 8 May in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals.
The news was better for swingman Andre Iguodala (left calf) and big man DeMarcus Cousins (quadriceps).
Coach Steve Kerr said Iguodala will be available for Game 1. Cousins scrimmaged on Friday and has a chance at being ready for the opener, as well.
Meanwhile, Durant is miffed at the recent narrative that the Warriors are a better team without him. Golden State is 5-0 since losing the 10-time All-Star.
You may also like:
Durant was averaging 34.2 points in the postseason prior to the injury against the Rockets.
“It’s hard to get away from that because I watch the games (when Golden State is on the road) and I saw the lead-up to the game and I saw everybody talking about it,” Durant said. “As a player, I think about that and I’m just like ‘That’s not true, that’s not the facts’ when it comes from a basketball perspective.”
Durant, who could leave as a free agent after the season, also feels outsiders are trying to drive a wedge between him and his teammates.
“It’s been that way since I got here, It’s the Warriors and KD. I understand that,” said Durant, who joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016. “I feel the organization knows exactly what I’ve done on and off the court to become part of this culture and stamp my flag on this organization.
“The last two years, I’ve done pretty much everything that they asked me to do from player, ambassador to the community to working hard every single day in shootarounds and practices.
“I know what I bring to the team but I also know a lot of people on the outside don’t like to see us together. I get it.”
Star guard Stephen Curry said he doesn’t understand why there isn’t a general feeling of happiness when a team or players do well.
“We’re a great team because everybody in the room who put on the uniform goes out and competes at a high level,” Curry said. “We look out for each other. There is sacrifice. At the end of the day, it’s all about winning.”
Toronto holds a 3-2 lead in the East and can close out its series on Saturday when it hosts the Bucks.