Kevin Durant’s Achilles Rehab Praised by Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins

Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 10, 2019.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles tendon in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on June 10, 2019.

Dominique Wilkins is one of the greatest high flyers to grace the basktball court.

Dominique Wilkins' Top 10 Dunks of his Career!Take a look back at the Top 10 Dunks of the Human Highlight Films' career, as we celebrate Dominique Wilkins' birthday. Happy Birthday Dominique! About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada. The league is truly global, with games and programming in 215 countries and territories…2015-01-12T20:39:17.000Z

A winner of two NBA Slam Dunk Contests, Wilkins was a fixture of Hawks culture in the 80s and led the Hawks to multiple 50 win seasons.

In a recent chat with Yahoo’s Mike Mazzeo, Wilkins applauded Kevin Durant‘s poise during his rehab process. “Don’t listen to people telling you what you can or can’t do,” Wilkins told Mazzeo.

“Because no one knows your heart better than you do.”

Wilkins averaged more than 25 points per game for ten consecutive seasons and captured a scoring title in 1985–86 with an average of 30.3 points per game.

Wilkins tore his achilles Tendon during the 1991-92 NBA season in a game against the Philadelphia 76ers and had surgery two days later. on January 28, 1992. Wilkins returned the following season and won the NBA’s Comeback Player of the Year award.

For those keeping score at home: Wilkins averaged 27.7 points per game in the first month of that season. Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a regular-season MVP, a four-time NBA scoring champ and a 10-time All-Star.

Wilkins ecourages Durant to push through everybody talking and critiquing. “I heard all those negative things,” he told Mike Mazzeo.

“And I used it as fuel to prove [my critics] wrong. So that’s what he has to do. Because you’re going to have your doubters. You’re going to have your naysayers. You’re going to have all these people that have an opinion of what you’re going to be like when you come back.

“They’re going to be quick to say, ‘Well, the guy can shoot the ball and he’s talented, but what about the explosion?’ You get people saying stuff like that. So again, it comes down to, ‘How do you prove people wrong?’ You go out there, believe in yourself and work hard to get back to that star level. And I think everything else will take care of itself.”

Inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachussetts in 2006, The Human Highlight Film was the third pick in the 1982 NBA Draft. While Wilkins had stints with the San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Clippers and Orlando Magic, he will always be beloved for his eleven seasons spent with the Atlanta Hawks where the nine time NBA All Star wowed folks with his leaping ability.

Wilkins says that his rehab also fueled him. “The hardest part was in the beginning,” he said.

“Just accepting the fact that I was hurt. But once I got over that it was now just about, ‘What am I gonna do to get back? How can I be the player I once was? What do I need to do?’ And I started doing a lot of water therapy, working with very, very light weights.

“It took me believing in myself. And all those articles with people saying I wouldn’t be back, I wouldn’t be the same. I put them on the mirror of my workout room. I had to look at them everyday. And so that was my fuel.”

Over the summer, Durant shared how enamored  he is with hoops. “Basketball is my biggest love,” he said in a caption of a now-deleted post.

“I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.”

Dominique Wilkins scored 26,668 points and 7,169 rebounds during his NBA career. As of this year, the small forward ranks 13th on the NBA scoring list. Currently Wilkins serves as a color commentator for Hawks broadcasts. He says he has spoken to Durant about the injury and recovery. “We’ve talked a little bit,” he told Mike Mazzeo.

“Not much. But I’m always willing to give any type of insight or advice on that injury. It’s a time-consuming injury, but if you put in the work you can get back from it.

“One thing in his favor is that he loves to play. And anybody that loves the game is going to do whatever’s necessary to get back to that star level.”

Durant, 31 is nearing seven months since he injured his Achilles during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals on June 10, 2019.

Nets GM Sean Marks stated in September that the Nets have no plans of playing KD this year.

Durant told Stephen A. Smith back in October he’ll likely not play this season.