Kevin Durant, in his first interview since rupturing his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals in June, said he does not hold the Golden State Warriors accountable for the injury.
“Hell, no. How can you blame [the Warriors]? Hell, no,” Durant told Yahoo Sports, speaking at a house in Los Angeles. “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 [trainer] 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.”
Durant, who turns 31 in September, agreed to a four-year contract in July worth up to $164 million to play for the Brooklyn Nets after spending the past three seasons with the Warriors, winning two titles and being named NBA Finals MVP twice.
He jokingly chided Raptors fans who initially cheered after he went down with the injury during Game 5, telling Yahoo Sports through a smirk: “It will probably be the last time they will be in the Finals.”
Durant’s injury came after he became the first player in NBA history to average 30 points per game on 50-40-90 percent shooting in a single postseason (minimum five games).
Durant told Yahoo Sports he watched most of the rest of Game 5 from his hotel room after struggling with his emotions when he first tuned in.
“Yeah, I still think about that night,” Durant said. “Every experience I’ve been through in the league is obviously always ingrained in my mind, but that one is definitely always going to be a huge part of my career because it’s the biggest stage and the type of injury I had. But now I look at it as me just going out there playing basketball, and I happened to get hurt. And now I’m just waiting to get back. I know it’s a huge deal to everybody else, but I just try to take it on the chin and keep it moving.”