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SportOpinion: Kevin Durant's injury should serve as cautionary tale for athletes everywhere

10:51  12 june  2019
10:51  12 june  2019 Source:

Report: Kevin Durant suffered setback with calf injury

Report: Kevin Durant suffered setback with calf injury Now that the Golden State Warriors are down 3-1 in the NBA Finals, people want to know what is going on with Kevin Durant. Have the Warriors downplayed the severity of his injury? Is Durant unwilling to tough things out? Or is something else going on? According to one reporter, the Warriors had hopes of Durant playing in Game 4 on Friday night, but he suffered a setback. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst joined “SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt” after the Warriors’ 105-92 loss to the Raptors on Friday night and shared some information about Durant. He said the Warriors thought Durant would be able to play on Friday, but his body wasn’t ready.

Please read the rules before joining the discussion. Opinion : Kevin Durant ' s injury should serve as cautionary tale Kevin Durant sits on the court after suffering an Achilles injury . Game 5: Warriors forward Kevin Durant reaches for his leg after dropping to the floor with an injury during the first half.

But, their current tale of inefficiency should be a cautionary one for the future of the Cleveland He appeared to double-down on that claim, signing Kevin Love to a four-year, 0 million contract Well, soon after the season began Love was sidelined with a toe injury that ended up keeping him out for

OAKLAND — Since there’s so much we don’t know about the human body, athletic performance and the nature of injuries, let’s start with the most basic fact that there were two teams, two superstars and two very different paths to the NBA Finals.

In one corner there’s Kawhi Leonard, who didn’t accept the medical prognosis of his former team, ignored the noise when fans, media and some even within his own locker room suggested he should be playing and came back with a new team that allowed him to play a conservative 60-game regular season schedule to preserve his health for the playoffs.

Kevin Durant exits Game 5 of NBA Finals with apparent leg injury

Kevin Durant exits Game 5 of NBA Finals with apparent leg injury Warriors star Kevin Durant limped off the floor and to the locker room after appearing to suffer a right-leg injury in the second quarter of Game 5.

Opinion : Kevin Durant ' s Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels. Kevin Durant left Game 5 in the second quarter after sustaining a lower-leg injury . He was valiant and then, in the split-second of one false move on a fragile muscle, he was a cautionary tale . Kevin Durant should not have played in

Kevin Durant glances up at the stands after sustaining an injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Durant now bears the injured athlete ’ s haunting burden: proving himself all over again. The silver lining is that this injury is unlikely to curb Durant ’ s earning power.

In another corner there’s Kevin Durant, who averaged nearly 35 minutes over 78 games in the regular season and played more than 40 minutes in six consecutive playoff games before his calf injury and subsequent comeback attempt Monday night that has become the biggest flashpoint of the NBA Finals.

MORE COLUMNS: Read more commentary from USA TODAY Sports' Dan Wolken

It’s certainly possible that one plus one doesn’t equal two here. No two bodies are alike, no two injuries are the same, and there are always additional factors and circumstances that will drive a professional athlete’s decision to put their body on the line.

But there are lessons we need to learn from what happened in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

We can’t just write it off as bad luck that Durant hurried back after a month off, played on a calf injury that hadn’t fully healed, looked really good playing 12 of the first 14 minutes of the game and then made a sudden move on his right leg that resulted in damage to his Achilles — an injury that will likely rob the 30-year old Durant of one of the last remaining prime years of his career.

Opinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels

Opinion: Kevin Durant's Game 5 injury is a failure on many levels Kevin Durant left Game 5 in the second quarter after sustaining a lower-leg injury. He should have never played Monday.

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Opinion: Kevin Durant's injury should serve as cautionary tale for athletes everywhere© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

Though Golden State president of basketball operations Bob Myers tearfully came into a postgame news conference suggesting there was no one to blame — essentially, sometimes bad stuff happens in sports — that’s a cop out.

Durant didn’t break his arm or suffer a concussion or even tear up his knee. During a non-contact play where was simply trying to get by Serge Ibaka, he injured his Achilles, which is connected to the muscle that he injured previously and wasn’t healthy enough for him to play 72 hours earlier.

Golden State’s medical personnel surely believed Durant playing wouldn’t put him at risk of further injury, and Durant ultimately made the decision to play in Game 5 because he’s an elite competitor who trusted those who likely told him that dropping into the NBA Finals off one practice wouldn’t put his career in jeopardy.

Bob Myers defends Kevin Durant, accepts blame for injury

Bob Myers defends Kevin Durant, accepts blame for injury An emotional Bob Myers spoke after Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night and defended Kevin Durant as a person while saying he would accept any blame for the superstar’s Achilles injury. The Golden State Warriors' president spoke to the media with a shaky voice and shared why Durant was cleared for the game. “He was cleared to play tonight. That was a collaborative decision. I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me. I run our basketball operations department,” Myers said. Durant took some criticism for not playing previously during the Finals.

Kevin Durant ' s Achilles injury could be looked at as a blow to the Knicks' grand plan, but it might have actually been a blessing for a team with plenty of young talent. Assuming they keep the No. 3 pick — and they absolutely should keep that pick — they will be getting a terrific player, likely R.J. Barrett.

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But all medical advice isn’t equal. Doctors can miss things. And assessing risk when you’re talking about a complex network of muscles, joints and tissue seems like more art than science.

If the Golden State organization isn’t immediately undergoing a top-to-bottom assessment of what went wrong, whether mistakes were made by its medical staff and whether there was an error somewhere along the line — including by coach Steve Kerr, who didn’t exactly ease Durant back into the lineup — they’re in complete denial of their responsibility to the health of their players.

We may never know whether Golden State did enough to discourage Durant from making a bad decision. Internally, though, they need to figure that out.

But at the end of the day, what’s become clear is that athletes who desire to have long careers and avoid major injuries should be less trusting of their organizations and more empowered to put themselves first. And we all need to start giving athletes the benefit of the doubt when they say it’s too risky to compete rather than play pundit about what it means to be on the floor at 70 percent or some other arbitrary number we assign to their health.

What's next for Kevin Durant after Achilles injury? Breaking down his options

What's next for Kevin Durant after Achilles injury? Breaking down his options When Kevin Durant went down with what the Golden State Warriors fear to be an Achilles tear in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the future became murky.

Kevin Durant checks his knee after being injured on a play in the first quarter. Durant was injured just 93 seconds into the game, during a sequence in which Marcin Gortat was called for an offensive foul for throwing Warriors center Zaza Pachulia to the ground, causing Pachulia to roll into Durant ’ s leg.

Even with Durant ’ s injury , the Warriors should be able to retain the Western Conference’ s No.1 seed. Golden State is four games ahead of the closest contender and half of the team’ s remaining games are against sub-.500 The Warriors will hope that Durant picks up where he left off once he returns.

In retrospect, Leonard had it right last season in San Antonio when he tried to come back from a quad injury in December but then shut it down for the year after nine games. That decision — seemingly on the advice of Leonard’s doctors, not the team’s medical personnel — led to unfair commentary from fans, the media and even former Spurs guard Tony Parker, who called his own quad injury “100 times worse.”

The idea that Leonard wasn’t being a team player by sitting out or that he wasn’t fighting through it is rooted in a twisted, fictional ethic that should have been obsolete about the same time we realized John Wayne didn’t like riding horses except in the movies. To think Leonard should have trusted his future to anyone or anything but his own sense of whether his body was ready to play basketball is one of the biggest scams perpetrated on sports.

And now we see in the NBA Finals that Leonard’s approach was correct, as was Toronto’s cautious handling of his health throughout the season. Though stars sitting out due to “load management” may not be ideal for the NBA’s business, it’s hard to ignore the value in it when you’re at the end of a rigorous nine-month season and one star who played maximum minutes is now dealing with a serious injury and another is still going strong into Game 6 of the Finals.

Opinion: Warriors' Kevin Durant buckling up for his longest year after Achilles injury

Opinion: Warriors' Kevin Durant buckling up for his longest year after Achilles injury Rehabbing an Achilles rupture is slow and difficult, testing a player’s mental fortitude as much as his or her physical limits. Just ask Kobe Bryant.

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Though we still don’t know who’s going to be crowned NBA champion this year, Monday will be a seminal moment for professional athletes or even college athletes inclined to skip bowl games: If you don’t look out for your best interests, who else will?

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Dan Wolken on Twitter @DanWolken

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Kevin Durant's injury should serve as cautionary tale for athletes everywhere

Related slideshow: 2019 NBA Finals (Provided by imagn)

Opinion: Kevin Durant's injury should serve as cautionary tale for athletes everywhere
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Kevin Durant sign-and-trade with Warriors ‘being discussed’.
The Golden State Warriors are in the beginning stages of a critical offseason during which the organization will confront myriad complex issues. One novel solution being considered is how the Warriors reportedly will consider executing a sign-and-trade involving Kevin Durant. Durant’s already-uncertain future became significantly more complicated after the superstar went down with an Achilles injury during the NBA Finals that almost certainly will keep him out next season. With so much in limbo, a new report suggests a sign-and-trade is on the table in deliberations between Durant and the Warriors.

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