And With a Pop, The NBA Changed Before Our Eyes
Kevin Durant decided to play Game 5 of the NBA Finals. In many ways, this was a gutty effort by one of the best players in the NBA. Durant has his team down 3-1 facing elimination from the Finals and ruining the chance to 3-peat like all of the great dynasties did at one point in their historic runs. Durant looked fresh and ready to roll in the first half of this game. He didn’t seem to have any issues with his calf and went at it with a ferocity of sorts. He wanted to be out there and be a difference maker for this team. Then, things changed in the second quarter with ABC’s Mike Breen saying ‘Durant is down’ and he needed to get helped off the court. Whatever had happened did not look good.
Warriors win the game in a stunning comeback where Nick Nurse choked on his own embroidered hat to force a Game 6, but all eyes were on Durant’s injury. Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr deferred the Durant question to General Manager Bob Myers who broke down as they had just lost a family member. Durant had an Achilles injury, and this was different from his calf injury. He is done for the playoffs, and the Warriors are hoping it is not a full rupture of a tendon that takes months to recover from. NBA is officially on its axis with no sign of direction.
All this talk about the New York Knicks enter the Eastern Conference ring to battle with Giannis Antetokounmpo and maybe Kawhi Leonard might be disappearing before our very eyes. Los Angeles Clippers making a run on Durant is probably over. Same goes for if Brooklyn had an interest. There will still be intrigue and drama, yet the biggest player on the market might not even make free agency and if he does, the team paying him will not see Durant until possibly March at the earliest. What the hell are these teams going to do moving forward?
Durant could take his player option and remain with Golden State for 31.5 million dollars. How that could affect Klay Thompson’s deal is something to worry in a couple of weeks. If he does that, the entire free agency market changes for better or worse. Does the Milwaukee Bucks’ star Khris Middleton become a fallback option for teams like New York, Brooklyn or the two teams in Los Angeles where Midds decides to take his talent elsewhere? I think that’s a real concern for the Bucks based on what Durant decides to do this summer. And if Durant decides to go to free agency, I don’t hate the idea of a one-year deal to Milwaukee where he comes in around March or April. Not sure if KD will go the DeMarcus Cousins’ route though.
This is going to be a night where you remember where you were and if you were watching. The Durant injury, the memorable fourth quarter and the fact the Warriors wouldn’t let their dynasty die.