Sports television personality Stephen A. Smith called Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant integral to the team winning the championship — as The Inquisitr reported — and now it appears he’s going to be taking to the bench for an undisclosed amount of time.
According to the official NBA website, Durant injured his right calf during the third quarter of the Golden State Warriors’ Wednesday night game against the Houston Rockets, which they won 104-99, giving them a 3-2 lead in the series. But Durant is the star of the team — he was averaging 35.4 points in the playoffs — and is considered by some to be the key to bringing the Warriors the championship win, which made the victory bittersweet.
Although the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP had an MRI exam Thursday and it’s currently unclear whether he will be able to play for Game 6 on Friday night in Houston, Warriors coach Steve Kerr isn’t holding his breath. He believes Durant might have injured his Achilles and doesn’t think he’s going to make it to Game 6.
“We can all pretend and just say he’s doubtful. But he’s not playing Game 6,” Kerr said, adding that he’s “disappointed” for his star forward.
“Excited about the win but concerned for Kevin and disappointed for him. He’s been on this incredible playoff run and I’m proud of our guys for pulling the game out. We’ll see how Kevin’s doing tomorrow.”
Kerr said that the coaching staff is planning to retool the rotation on the flight to Texas Thursday and will account for the possibility that Durant won’t be able to play Game 6.
Smith, co-host of ESPN’s First Take, previously spoke about Durant’s star power and his role on the Warriors.
“I think they need him. I don’t think they’d win the championship without Kevin Durant. That’s number one. Number two, we’re talking about one of the great, great players in the history of this game.”
Smith said that without Durant, the Milwaukee Bucks are a shoo-in to take the championship. He clarified that he believes Stephen Curry is the greatest shooter ever and Klay Thompson is the best shooting backcourt player but stressed that Durant is the key.
Although the Rockets have better chances with the Warriors down Durant, they are hopeful that he makes it to Friday’s game.
“You hate to see anybody go down, especially somebody we know that well,” said Houston’s Chris Paul said, adding that they want to face the Warriors at their peak so they can take their best shot.