Charles Barkley, as usual, has a strong opinion about something that happened in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals.
Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals was as entertaining of a contest that the league could have hoped for, but Charles Barkley came out of the experience with a fiery hot take.
The Golden State Warriors eked out a 106-105 victory against the Toronto Raptors and extended this bloodfest to a Game 6 in Oakland, which will be the final contest ever played in that particular stadium. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney both incurred injuries.
Durant’s Achilles’ injury during the second quarter certainly added drama to the game, because it looked like he was about to take over the series. He scored 11 points in 11 minutes, which averages out pretty well if you assume that he would’ve played around 40 minutes.
Charles Barkley went on ESPN’s “Get Up” show this morning, and the former superstar had a strong opinion about whether or not the Warriors brought Durant back into the series the correct way.
“You’ve been asking these guys all morning if there’s somebody to blame,” Barkley said. “Yes there is somebody to blame. The Golden State Warriors for putting KD out there. Listen, that was not right.
“You know, if you go back and look at the last two weeks, the article comes out, ‘KD‘s worst nightmare, the Warriors are winning without him.’ Then you come out and read the articles ‘the Warriors are really unhappy that KD won’t risk his Achilles, they’re frustrated with KD.’
“Now this man has to be feeling some type of way. So I blame the Warriors for KD getting hurt and I don’t care what they say about it. They shouldn’t have put that man out there. You know how I know it? Cause he blew out his Achilles.”
It’s hard to argue with Barkley’s logic on this one. He went on to say that you can’t ever leave the decision to return from a major injury up to the player, because they will want to play every time.
To act as the devil’s advocate, though, the Warriors have already taken responsibility for this, and GM Bob Myers said last night that any blame for the situation should rest on his shoulders.
Durant also obviously desired to play. So if the doctors cleared him physically, then there wasn’t any reason to keep him out of the game other than that he only walked through one practice before entering the series.
Durant’s MRI results will come in later today; however, it’s widely assumed at this point that he tore his Achilles tendon. DeMarcus Cousins dealt with that injury last season, and so Golden State is quite familiar with that rehab process.
It took Cousins about 10 months to return from that. Golden State has an uphill battle now without their two-time Finals MVP, and they might come to regret bringing Durant back into the fray so soon.