Kevin Durant will never forget Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals. After battling back from a similar injury that kept him sidelined for much of the playoffs, Durant re-injured his right Achilles, ending his postseason and his tenure with the Warriors.
Durant has since opened up about the injury, recalling what he was thinking the moment after he went down.
“It’s crazy how much your mind switches, the next second I was on the ground thinking about my whole basketball career,” Durant said during a one-on-one interview with former teammate Serge Ibaka.
Durant will miss the entire 2019-20 season because of the injury. Just a few weeks after the Finals ended, KD announced via Instagram that he would be joining the new-look Brooklyn Nets. The max deal runs through the 2022-23 season when Durant will be 34-years-old. There is a player option to opt-out after the 2021-22 season.
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Durant Bonds With Ibaka Over Dinner
The two former teammates met up for a cooking segment with Bleacher Report, sharing not only a meal but also a great conversation. Ibaka grilled KD about the injury, his relationship with Russell Westbrook and what could have been if the duo stayed with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Perhaps the question on every fan’s mind, does Durant think the Warriors would have won the title if he stayed healthy?
“For sure. If you put an ‘if’ in front of anything, it can believe anything,” Durant boasted. So, yes!”
Ibaka disagreed, saying the Raptors were the hotter team in that series and “nobody could stop us”. The two went on to bicker about how the Finals would have been different if Durant did not get hurt. KD eventually acknowledged that he would have been “very, very nervous” if the series would have gone to a Game 7.
Durant Inks Deal With Brooklyn
On June 30, Durant used social media to announce his future. On a video posted to the Instagram account for The Boardroom, KD’s new show for ESPN’s streaming services, Durant revealed he would be signing a max deal with the Brooklyn Nets, shaking up the NBA free-agent landscape.
During KD’s conversation with Ibaka, he revealed why he chose to sign with the Nets over the Knicks.
“I just like the organization as far as just the direction they were going in,” Durant said. “It was nothing major against the Knicks. I just think Brooklyn is farther along in the process of being a contender.”
A big chunk of Durant’s guaranteed money will be earned without him even stepping foot on the court. It is expected that KD will miss the entire 2019-20 season due to the ruptured Achilles. If Durant stays in Brooklyn throughout the entirety of the contract, he will earn a whopping $42.7 million in the final year of the deal, according to Spotrac.
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