From the second Kevin Durant hit the ground, his face told the story. He was hurt all over again, and possibly worse than before. An emotional President of Basketball Operation Bob Myers said after the game that Durant has an Achilles injury though the extent of it is unclear. Durant left the arena on crutches and a walking boot.
Just two minutes into the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Serge Ibaka stripped the ball from Durant, accidentally causing the superstar who sat out since May 8 with a calf injury to collapse to the floor in his first game back.
Kevin Durant appears to aggravate his calf injury and heads to the locker room early in the second quarter. pic.twitter.com/VXu3SmTS8Y— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
Durant was helped off the floor as he made his way back to the locker room, a depressing scene for both teams. But as he stood up and introduced a new-found limp, some Raptors fans inexplicably cheered for his injury. That was uncalled for.
Some even waved him off the court:
Their own fans set off Toronto center Serge Ibaka and guard Kyle Lowry, who both tried to stop the crowd. Announcer Herbie Kuhn took the mic to “Shh” the crowd too.
Kyle Lowry and the Warriors tell fans to stop cheering as Kevin Durant walks off with an injury. pic.twitter.com/UldE49bF22— ESPN (@espn) June 11, 2019
In response, fans chanted “KD” as he walked off the floor:
Raptors give Durant a “KD” chant to salute his effort to play pic.twitter.com/STIv8QNfIS— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) June 11, 2019
What a terrible moment for what was the start of a terrific game. Durant was spectacular in his 12 minutes, scoring 11 points on five shots, including 3-of-3 from deep. A high-scoring shootout saw the Warriors sink their first five threes and Marc Gasol, Kawhi Leonard, and Pascal Siakam match their physicality on the other end.
Then the injury, and those initial fans’ rudeness, soiled it.
After the game, Myers took the blame for the injury: