The Warriors rallied and held off being eliminated by the Raptors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but Kevin Durant’s ruptured Achilles has been the big headline around the NBA.
Durant underwent surgery and is out indefnitely, with many players around the league sending their well wishes to him.
Despite being on the opposing Finals team, Raptors star Kawhi Leonard offered Durant some advice on how to come back from such a huge injury.
“We work so hard to get to this point and the game gets taken away from you, especially with leg injuries and things like that,” Leonard told reporters during a press conference Wednesday. “You’re not really able to run or do anything on the floor. You really have to change your mindset on things and try to attack each day in getting better and just know you’re going to play again one day.”
“You want to come back as the player that you were and make sure you come back when you feel healthy. You feel good enough that you feel confident in yourself to go back out there on the floor and know that that day will come …
“That’s your assignment — to get back to the thing that you love to do.”
Leonard knows what it’s like to be sidelined — he missed the majority of last season due to a quad injury, which reportedly caused a rift between him and his then-team, the Spurs.
Leonard went on to join the Raptors, where he has made a huge impact in his first season. He’s averaging 30.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 39 minutes per game in the postseason.
Durant had been sidelined for a month with a calf strain before returning to the floor Monday. In just 12 minutes of play, Durant stepped in such a way that caused his Achilles to pop.
He was helped off the floor and taken back to the locker room, not returning to the game. After flying to New York for an MRI, the extent of Durant’s injury was revealed and he underwent successful surgery.