Kevin Durant has had a hurt calf muscle for a few weeks. He was cleared to play Monday night ahead of game 5 when the Warriors were facing elimination on Monday night. The odd part of this was he was finally cleared to play by the team doctors when the Warriors were on the verge of losing the championship. The doctors said there is no way he could reinjure his calf, but instead he blew out his Achilles. I have been a critical person of Kevin for his basketball decisions, but this one gave me a huge amount of respect for him and I salute and appreciate his passion for the game.
The problem that I have with this is I find it wrong that he was cleared despite wanting to play. I respect Kevin for wanting to play and not let the fans or his teammates down and I understand his choice. He also felt better, but that does not mean he was ready to go play in an NBA Finals game without much practice or physical activity. The move in which he made that hurt his leg was a normal basketball move that he obviously was not ready for, so many people are thinking he hurt his Achilles instead of his calf in the first place which is much more serious.
The team doctors and management allowed him to play and it will have some impact on his career because he will miss a year and the Achilles injuries are proven to be the worst type of injury for a basketball player. The player loses athleticism, their vertical jump decreases, their ability to play as many minutes per game. Many players have suffered Achilles injuries in many sports and their game no matter what sport was never the same.
Kobe Bryant was a player who suffered an Achilles injury and he never played the same near the end of his career. He was never the same player. Dominique Wilkins was another player who suffered the injury in the 90s was able to come back and still have a few good years left. Kevin is 30 years old and will be entering his 13th season when he returns in one year and will most likely miss the entire 2020-2021 basketball season. He is a free agent this summer and is due to be paid nearly 200 million and there are many teams who love his game. He will still get paid a max contract despite his injury but it is possible he will never play as well as he did.
Kawhi Leonard was a player for the San Antonio Spurs last year when he came down with an injury. He was cleared to play in the middle of the season and he did, but he felt he was not playing to his potential. He then went to a personal doctor with no connection to the team and got a second opinion on his injury and they did not clear him to play. Kawhi was advised to keep resting and rehabbing his thigh injury and the Spurs kept insisting he play. This situation just goes to show you how the team does what is in the best interest of them instead of the player and that is wrong. I hope more athletes see this situation and try to avoid playing injured so they can get paid as they truly deserve because they work hard to be who they are.
Kevin Durant is a true competitor and has great love, heart, and passion for the game and I respect him playing through his injury. It is truly a shame what happened to top him because the basketball world needs him because he is one of the best players in the league and always competing for titles. The basketball world wishes him the best and we are all hoping he defies the odds and comes back as the all-time great player that he once was because he deserves it for putting it all on the line.