Almost half of 44 NBA players who ruptured Achilles ten…

Almost half of 44 NBA players who ruptured Achilles tendons over the past three decades were unable to return or play more than 10 games upon returning to the league, according to a study presented this year to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Those players who did return were “unable do so so at their pre-injury level, as evidence by the observed decline in PER,’’ according to the study set to be published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. But researchers said Durant’s exceptional ability bodes well for his recovery. “It’s hard to be definitive because everybody’s so unique,’’ said Brett Owens, an orthopedic surgeon and lead author of the study presented this year to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. “But what we have seen in other sports is the skill level of the player really tends to bode well for their ability to return.’’

More on Kevin Durant Injury

The unpleasant memories struck DeMarcus Cousins as soon as Kevin Durant fell to the ground. It lingered when Durant hobbled off the court. And then it reemerged later when Cousins entered the locker room. “I saw K and saw the emotion on his face, I know the feeling,” Cousins said. “I was the same exact way. It’s unfortunate. It’s a very unfortunate situation.”
Did Cousins outline his journey to Durant? “It’s nowhere close for that. We spoke, but you give him his space,” Cousins said. “You give him his space and let him go through his ups and downs and emotions. I’ll reach out when it’s the right time. Or he’ll reach out when he feels it’s the right time.”
Durant, Leonard and Davis are the three best players available and are the only three stars the Clippers are actively pursuing. The Clippers are firmly in contention for Leonard and/or Durant, but Durant’s torn Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night — as well as Leonard’s Finals run with the Raptors and Davis’ recently revised trade list — has somewhat clouded the offseason forecast. That is compounded by the fact that missing out on the stars they want will not force the Clippers into a reactionary decision — be it a signing or trade — this offseason, league sources told The Athletic.
Kevin Durant: What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY. My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way. Like I said Monday, I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and 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. Its just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W. It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I’m a hooper. I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it.

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But Kerr did make one thing clear: The Warriors, he said, were of the belief the only risk being taken was related to the calf itself – not the Achilles. “When we gathered all the information, our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a re-injure of the calf,” Kerr said. “That was the advice and the information that we had. At that point, once Kevin was cleared to play, he was comfortable with that, we were comfortable with that. So the Achilles came as a complete shock. I don’t know what else to add to that, other than had we known that this was a possibility, that this was even in the realm of possibility, there’s no way we ever would have allowed Kevin to come back.
The emerging narrative Kevin Durant had his ruptured right Achilles tendon repaired by a New York surgeon in spite of the Warriors’ medical staff is bogus, according to one local doctor who watched the tragic injury unfold from afar. “I knew he was coming [to New York],” said New Jersey foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon Andrew Brief, who has known Dr. Martin O’Malley for over a decade. O’Malley performed what Durant called on Instagram a “successful” surgery to repair the tear Wednesday. “I mean, O’Malley operated on him before [2015 foot surgery],” Brief said. “He’s a repeat customer. That was the way it was going to go the moment it happened.”
Brief absolved the Warriors’ medical staff of blame, and pointed to Durant’s flying around in warmups without issue, adding he likely would have made the same call. Durant had 11 points in 12 minutes before being knocked out of the game. “This was a matter of bad luck more than bad judgement,” Brief said.
Bobby Marks: I have seen Dr. Martin O’Malley take a player in Brook Lopez that we all thought was done in 2013 to one that averaged 75 games over 5 seasons. Kevin Durant is in good hands with Dr. O’Malley and his team.
In a chat with The Undefeated, Gay said he reached out to Durant and touched on what the Warriors All-Star has ahead of him in his rehab process. “He hit me back and was appreciative,” Gay told The Undefeated over the phone from Milan. “We will have a conversation soon.” “The biggest thing is finding your rhythm and knowing your body,” said Gay, who will be a free agent again this summer. “As long as you can continue to heal and get your rhythm back, the only thing that will be new is figuring out your body.”

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Zaza Pachulia: Have a speedy recovery my brother 🙏🏼I know you’ll bounce back💪🏼 Love you bro

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One thing that Barea said Durant can without question expect is a long, arduous and at times boring grind that will not end for Durant until sometime in 2020. “I’m five months into it,” the 34-year-old guard said. “I’m basically coming in everyday from 9 to 12 in the morning and I do weights, then do court work and then go back to weights. But I’m basically doing it all on the court already. I’m doing pick-and-rolls, floaters, 3-point shots, a little bit of conditioning. I feel great.”
“Don’t be scared.” NBA veteran Rudy Gay sent Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant that message and other encouraging words via Instagram the day after Durant injured his right Achilles tendon during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday. “He hit me back and was appreciative,” Gay told The Undefeated over the phone from Milan. “We will have a conversation soon.”
Multiple league sources told Yahoo Sports that they expect the Warriors to still offer Kevin Durant a max extension, regardless of the injury. The only argument against doing so is the commitment to a player who may never be the same. Then again, the alternative is alienating Durant further by offering anything less than the full max and potentially losing him with no sufficient alternative in free agency for 2020 and beyond.
Likewise, multiple league sources also told Yahoo Sports they believe the Knicks will still offer an injured Durant a max deal when free agency opens June 30. “What you don't know is what promises have been made,” one source told Yahoo Sports. “Have the Knicks and Clippers already made such promises? If not, are they willing to get two and a half to three years out of a guy on a four-year contract? Achilles tears take a year out of you and put your other Achilles at a much greater risk.”

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Logan Murdock: Steve Kerr: “If we knew this was in the realm of possibility, we would’ve never allowed Kevin to come back.” Kerr said Kevin consulted with Warriors medical staff as well as his own outside opinion and business partner Rich Kleinman before getting cleared.
The Warriors returned to the Bay Area Tuesday afternoon, but Durant flew to New York, where he underwent an MRI examination. According to the NBA source, Durant’s injury initially was diagnosed as a torn Achilles, but results of the MRI were expected to reveal whether it is a full tear or a partial tear. The Warriors were not expected to announce the results until Wednesday after a review by their medical team Tuesday night.
Even though he was cleared for Game 5, Durant was not anywhere close to 100 percent, sources said. The individual workout sessions and the light practice session on Sunday could not simulate the rigors of an ultra-competitive championship game.
According to a 2013 research paper published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, seven of the 18 NBA players (38.9%) who sustained major Achilles injuries between 1988 and 2011 did not come back to the league. Those who did return missed an average of 55.9 games the rest of their career, with only eight of the 11 playing a second season.
“That was bullshit,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said as he sat at his locker. “It was crazy. Did you hear it? Yeah, that’s ridiculous. That’s frickin’ ridiculous. I can’t even put into words how mad I was about that. When I see (rapper) Tory Lanez’s dumbass cheering about his injury … That’s unbelievable. Now I do respect the Raptors for telling them to shut up though. That’s not cool.”

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"I hereby apologize on behalf of Canada -- prayers for recovery." A fan sent flowers to the Warriors apologizing for Canada's Kevin Durant cheers. (photo via Warriors Offices)

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“This is no perfect science,” said Dr. Travis G. Maak, Utah Jazz team physician and an associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah. “It is called the art of medicine.” Maak, who has been part of many discussions about when a player could return to the court, said “The optics of this are terrible” but added that he has never seen a physician compromise a player’s health.
A Warriors official, who asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to discuss medical issues, said Tuesday, “No team is ever going to allow a player to get on the court without having multiple doctors clear him. Team doctors, specialists, a players’ personal doctor, etc. It is a collaborative effort with many involved.” He added that if Warriors’ officials knew there any chance of another injury, they would never have allowed him to play. “It’s a basketball game. It’s not that important,” he said.
Tiger Woods: “I’ve been there. I’ve had it to my own Achilles and my own back. It’s an awful feeling. No one can help you. That’s the hard part. And whether he has a procedure going forward or not, the hardest part about it is the offseason or the rehab. “I mean, if he popped it then that’s six to nine months of rehabbing. That’s what people don’t see, all those long hours that really do suck. And why do we do it? Because we’re competitors.”
It was a confusing, perplexing and bizarre turn of events. Medical and performance sources around the league that spoke with NBCSports.com were just as befuddled as those sitting in Scotiabank Arena. “This,” one longtime NBA trainer said, “is just unheard of.”
To be clear, the Warriors have the most information in this situation, both medically and personally. They have access to Durant’s medicals over the last three years. In consultation with Durant after the morning shootaround, the team decided to clear him ahead of Monday’s Game 5, the first time he’d suit up to play since May 8 when he suffered what the team called a mild calf strain. The team repeatedly denied it was an Achilles injury despite public speculation. But Durant still hurt his Achilles on Monday night. Every time a player ties up his shoelaces and plays in an NBA game, he is exposing himself to injury. Perhaps this was a fluke play that could not have been prevented, no matter the precautions.
Rather than sit Durant for the start of the second quarter and buy some extra time, Durant started the frame alongside three bench players and Klay Thompson. Draymond Green and Stephen Curry sat after playing the entire first quarter. And then, Durant’s leg buckled on a non-contact play. “Just seems unacceptable,” said one longtime director of performance. “Doesn’t make any sense.” Said another rival training staff member: “They may have said, once the leg is warm, ride it. But I can’t imagine (Durant) did enough work to determine 12 minutes out of 14 was appropriate.”
Although a torn Achilles could cost Durant the entire 2019-20 season, Marks said he spoke with three teams, and all of them remain willing to pursue KD in free agency: "I said ... If you had cap space, would you go out and sign Kevin Durant knowing that he will likely be out maybe the whole year? And the resounding answer was 'yes.' Each of the teams also said that they wouldn't even put any injury language in there for maybe years three and four to protect. So, yes, there will be a marketplace for Kevin Durant this summer, either with a team for four years, $141 million dollars or even back in Golden State here."
Family, teammates and confidants routinely checked on Durant during his quest to rejoin his guys on the court. Each time, Durant explained that he was working to speed up the process but was still experiencing discomfort pushing off his right foot, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Durant opened the game jumping the ball up on a tender calf. And instead of primarily resorting to a catch-and-shoot game, he brought the ball up full court with some pressure and occasionally tried to create offense in isolation. Those are all circumstances that require a player to plant and explode firmly. “I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand in this world and if you have to, you can blame me,” Myers said. “I run our basketball operations department.” There was a little resentment with how the Warriors handled the updates on Durant’s condition throughout his rehab process, sources said.
Mark Medina: Warriors scheduled to fly out of Toronto on Tuesday at noon ET. Not clear yet if Kevin Durant will have his MRI before team flies or after team lands in Oakland.
Anthony Slater: Bob Myers confirms its an Achilles injury for Kevin Durant. From one Warriors player in the locker room: “The hope is it’s not a full rupture.”
And ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was quick to point out just how severe the ramifications will be. “I was in the Warriors’ locker room and the doctors’ faces were ashen when Kevin came back there, it was almost like a mini-funeral back there,” Windhorst said. “He limped out midway through the third quarter; you don’t leave a game of this magnitude, this is a guy that’s been cheering his team along the whole time. He just wanted to get out of there. You could feel it was really bad.
“His agent Rich Kleiman was as white as a ghost. “The NBA just changed, the NBA just changed. Next year there’s teams crawling all over themselves to get Durant; there’s going to be this pecking order, there’s teams making trades to clear salary cap space, the thought was that he was going to be available on the market. “In addition to this series, the entire NBA just changed tonight.”
Ramona Shelburne: Warriors owner Joe Lacob “I have experienced a lot since owning this team. Some lows and many highs. Tonight was incredible pride in the resiliency of our team. And respect for KD coming back with our backs against the wall. But I am also so unbelievably sad about the KD injury.”
Henry Abbott: Warriors GM Bob Myers says he doesn't think there's anyone to blame, but if you have to, "you can blame me, I run the basketball operations department." Says Kevin Durant is one of the "most misunderstood people," and "I'm lucky to know him."
Jason Anderson: BREAKING: Warriors president Bob Myers tearfully announced that Kevin Durant suffered an Achilles injury tonight, the extent of which is not yet known. "I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but ... if you have to, you can blame me." Just devastating news. Get well @Kevin Durant.
O — Canada came for a coronation and left, inexplicably, with a headache. The Golden State Warriors staved off elimination by beating the Toronto Raptors, 106-105, on Monday, withstanding the loss of Kevin Durant and a brilliant fourth-quarter push from Kawhi Leonard to claim Game 5 and make it a 3-2 series. The defending champs left the court in joyous disbelief after pulling off a late-game caper for the ages. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to make 12 three-pointers, including three in the final three minutes. But a night that ended with stunned silence in Scotiabank Arena ran the full gamut of emotions. “An incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time,” Warriors Coach Steve Kerr said.
KD rides for #DubNation 💪🏾 (NSFW) (via easymoneysniper | IG)

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Enes Kanter: Respect @Kevin Durant Get well brother 🙏
Storyline: Kevin Durant Injury
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 28, 2021 | 12:24 pm EDT Update
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul is continuing to put the spotlight on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the arrival of a new college basketball tournament, The Undefeated has learned. Paul and the Basketball Hall of Fame have partnered in the development of the Chris Paul HBCU Tip-Off on Nov. 22-23 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. The two-day doubleheader will feature HBCUs Morehouse College, Virginia Union, West Virginia State and Winston-Salem State. The games are also expected to be televised nationally, a source said.
“This is a great honor to be invited to the Chris Paul HBCU Tip-Off with some of the best HBCUs in the country. It will also be a great opportunity for our young men to tour the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, right after my teammate and Virginia Union’s very own Ben Wallace goes into the Hall of Fame in September. I would like to thank Chris Paul for continuing to give HBCUs the opportunity to showcase our prestigious schools on the biggest stage,” Virginia Union coach Jay Butler said in a statement.
Kevin Love: Question: Why the f*ck can’t we be accepting or even open to the idea of someone breaking down to have a breakthrough? People are scared of facing their insecurities and perceived weaknesses (me being one of them)…and let’s be real, EVERYONE has their own set. This is because we use these insecurities and weaknesses against each other!!! What I’ve found and believe to be the truth is that once your insecurities are out in the open, this becomes your weapon, therefore disarming everyone else. YOU CAN’T USE ME AGAINST ME.
Storyline: Mental Health
Kevin Love: Understand this 👉🏼… by being open about your struggles, you flip vulnerabilities into victories. The mental freedom comes in knowing once you put yourself out there, the other side is a reward of community and belonging. To Simone and others who have openly shared their story…You are helping many. Continue to lean into discomfort and vulnerability. Don’t deny your story — defy the ending. To those who aren’t venturing out into the “Arena”…we are all raised to believe emotions aren’t worthy of our attention. I recall reading a fitting term once: “emotion-phobic.” This isn’t a way to live. Your perspectives are understood but NO ONE benefits from withholding compassion. We are tribal beings. Why don’t we start acting like it?