Outside of the fact that the Toronto Raptors are one game away from winning the first championship in franchise history, the biggest storyline in the NBA Finals has been Kevin Durant’s inability to get on the floor. Durant has dealt with a calf injury that he suffered against the Houston Rockets, and in the month or so since it happened, the two-time defending Finals MVP has missed every game.
It’s been a gigantic point of conversation, because with Durant, the Warriors might be unbeatable. Without him, Golden State is in major trouble. It’s also been — if I may editorialize, completely unfairly — compared to other teammates who have suffered injuries and are playing through them.
The whole situation is something to watch from the outside, but inside the Warriors locker room, it’s rather frustrating. That report comes via Brian Windhorst of ESPN, who shared a look inside what Golden State thinks about Durant’s injury after Game 4.
“Here’s what I do know,” Windhorst said. “Durant just isn’t ready. His body is not ready. The trainers don’t believe it, he doesn’t believe it. He tried to do some stuff in practice yesterday, it didn’t work. There’s frustration all around, I’m sure, from Kevin about it.”
Windhorst went onto say that Warriors coach Steve Kerr is also getting awfully frustrated with how this is all going down. The bit about practice is especially interesting, though, as it echoes something Jalen Rose said before the game.
“I’m really familiar with the setup, workout that KD had yesterday with the team, Mr. Big Shot, The Truth,” Rose said to his ESPN colleagues Chauncey Bullups and Paul Pierce. “And I’m gonna tell you guys — it didn’t go well on any level. It did not go well on any level, I’m just gonna keep it at that. So I went from being a guy that thinks that he may come back later, now I feel like he might not come back at all.”
Durant’s body will ultimately be the thing that determines whether he’ll get the chance to play in this series. Perhaps he’ll get to the point physically where he can go in time for a crucial Game 5 on Monday, or perhaps he’ll attempt to play through his current ailment, no one knows. But no matter what, it’s safe to say this has been one of the NBA’s weirdest injury sagas in recent memory.