Photo: Santiago Mejia, The Chronicle
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Charles Barkley blamed the Warriors for Kevin Durant’s devastating Achilles injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
“Yes, there is somebody to blame: the Golden State Warriors for putting KD out there. Listen, that was not right,” Barkley told ESPN’s “Get Up.”
ESPN analyst Jay Williams also blamed the Warriors, saying that he knew for a fact that KD was told “there was no chance that the Achilles could be injured at all.”
Even Howard Stern weighed in, joining Barkley and Williams in the it’s-the-Warriors’-fault club.
Finally, we know who Durant blames. No one.
On Tuesday, Yahoo Sports asked KD the question that’s been on everyone’s mind since he collapsed onto the hard-court floor with a torn Achilles tendon:
Did the Warriors mishandle the injury?
“Hell no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell no,” Durant said. “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— happens. Nobody was responsible for it. It was just the game. We just need to move on from that s— because I’m going to be back playing.”
As for the theory that the Warriors wouldn’t have played Durant if they had been up 3-1 instead of down 3-1, KD put that to rest.
“No matter what the series was, I was aiming for Game 5,” he said. “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 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.”
Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Kevin-Durant-blame-achilles-tendon-Warriors-14288585.php.