The internet is abuzz with angst and speculation today about Warriors All-NBA forward Kevin Durant's probably torn Achilles tendon, and what that means for the Finals, for the Warriors' next season, and for Durant's career.
An Achilles injury may not be a career-ender for Durant, but it does not bode well. As Five Thirty Eight explains, such injuries typically require long recovery times — and fellow Warrior DeMarcus Cousins just returned to active play after tearing his Achilles tendon in January 2018. Historically, his recovery was longer than most, but Kobe Bryant, for instance, injured his Achilles in the 2012-2013 season, he was out for 9 months (240 days).
Regardless, Durant's injury will define the narrative of these entire NBA Finals, and there will be plenty of talk about whether he was returned to active play too soon after his previous calf injury took him out in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. It's also unclear how the affects the calculus of whether Durant sticks with the Warriors in his free agency or goes elsewhere, though staying put now sounds more likely — an ESPN analyst this week predicted that Durant would flee if the Warriors won the Finals, but stay if they lose.
As you likely saw during Monday night's Game 5, Toronto Raptors fans were audibly cheering Durant's injury, leading to several Raptors players gesturing to the crowd to show a little more class. (Canada's supposed to be so polite, right?) But then this video below has been circulating among the schadenfreude-laced memes which is visibly doctored — adding the scene from last night's game to a bar scene of people ecstatically cheering. The video is actually from 2016, shot in a bar in Bristol, England, when England beat Wales in soccer at the Euro 2016. It's just an example of how various corners of the internet are trying to stir controversy around — and take pleasure in — Durant's and the Warriors' pain.
Toronto bar reacts to Kevin Durant’s injury pic.twitter.com/4oWqlcuv3S— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 11, 2019
Previously: Warriors Stun Toronto 106-105 After Losing Durant to Likely Achilles Injury