Kevin Durant knows what it’s like to have a career-altering injury. He played just 27 games in the 2014-15 season for OKC battling injuries to his ankles, feet and toes. I’m sure he just never expected to be facing the possibility of having his season cut short again -- at this moment with a championship within his grasp.
Winning the title was supposed to make the heat Durant has endured over his controversial decision to join Golden State and form a Super Team worth it.
Now, a season of promise becomes a season in limbo. Less than two minutes into the Warriors' Tuesday night game in the nation's capital, Zaza Pachulia was fouled on a rebound attempt and stumbled backwards. On the way down, Pachulia fell into KD's left knee.
First reports say it was a hyperextended left knee. After the MRI, however, it was confirmed that it was a Grade 2 MCL sprain and tibeal bone bruise and Durant is out indefinitely. That's almost about as bad as the news can get.
It didn't look good either. Durant initially attempted to play through the injury, but, clearly in a lot of pain, left for the locker room minutes later under his own power.
"We'll know more tomorrow," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. " ... I'm always concerned about any injury, because you never know how bad it's gonna be. So we'll just wait and see and keep our fingers crossed."
The eight-time NBA All-Star is killing it as usual, averaging 25.8 points (on a career-high 53.8% shooting), 8.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.7 blocks for the 50-10 Warriors.
"(We're) definitely, obviously concerned," Warriors forward Draymond Green said. "Any time a guy goes down, especially when you're talking knees, it's a concern. But nonetheless, we've still got to figure everything out while he's not out there, but hopefully he's OK."
His loss will be devastating to Golden State's title dreams if he can't return for the playoffs. And at this point, even if he does return it's doubtful he will be 100 percent and able to handle the same work load, which benefits Cleveland and Dub Nation’s direct Western Conference playoff competitors.
How quickly things change in pro sports. Everything always has a way of evening itself out.