Many have criticized the Golden State Warriors for an apparent mishandling of Kevin Durant‘s calf injury. A lower leg issue kept Durant out of much of these 2019 NBA playoffs, and his return in the NBA Finals resulted in a torn Achilles and likely an entire missed year next season.
Speculation quickly surrounded the team and whether they had done right by Durant. Many posited that the Warriors had pushed Durant too far, and that perhaps the staff did not do their due diligence. Even further, it was suggested that the Warriors were not fully forthcoming with Durant about the extent of his injury.
According to Golden State head coach Steve Kerr, that’s not the case. Speaking to Tim Kawakami this week, Kerr said that both the Warriors staff and Durant’s own medical team were fully involved in the process.
Via Bleacher Report:
Kerr told The Athletic’s Tim Kawakami on The TK Show neither Durant nor his representatives have indicated they were unhappy with how the medical process played out as he received clearance and returned to the court.
“We had not only our staff but Kevin’s own personal specialist and then a third independent specialist all clear him to play,” Kerr said. “All three after the fact were shocked at what proceeded with the Achilles. They all said it was the first time they had ever seen this.”
It doesn’t seem like this affects Durant’s future contract. He has already declined his final year with the Warriors, and several teams have been rumored to still be in the hunt to give him a max contract. Golden State might be one of those options as well.
Even with an injury as devastating as an Achilles tear, Durant is one of the top 15 players of all-time and still in his prime. Even if he came back at some percentage of his old self, he would still be a max-level player.
We may never know the full story of what happened with Durant, but according to Kerr everything was on the up-and-up.