Photo: Scott Strazzante / The Chronicle
Not long after exiting Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals due to an Achilles injury, Kevin Durant was seen walking out of the stadium on crutches accompanied by his agent Rich Kleiman and Warriors general manager Bob Myers.
Former Duke basketball star Jay Williams, who has collaborated with Durant on his ESPN+ show “The Boardroom,” watched the final five minutes of the game with Kevin Durant and described the difficult scene to ESPN on Tuesday morning.
“I was in the room with him last night and we were watching the game, and the density within the air of the room made it challenging to breathe,” Williams said. “For a regular player I think it would be so difficult to compartmentalize what just happened on that grand of a stage, but the guy who Kevin is last night he watched the last five minutes of the ball game rooting on his teammates.”
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Williams, who was the second overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft but played only one season in the league due to a motorcycle accident, added that Draymond Green FaceTimed his teammate after the game.
“[He was] FaceTimed by Draymond Green afterwards about just going back to the Bay Area for them to win it,” he said. “You rush to get back on the grand stage like that and for that to happen, he was distraught, just like any other human being would be distraught.”
The former NBA player and Durant confidant also said Durant’s camp harbors no ill will towards the Warriors after the injury. Williams then said fans, coaches and franchises should use this as a “learning opportunity.”
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“We can’t fault guys anymore for wanting to take care of their own body,” he said. “We label it as selfish or a guy is only thinking about himself, but this is the prime example of a guy who loved his teammates, loved his brotherhood, wanted to play for them, came back not feeling 1000% and this is the worst case scenario.”
You can watch Williams’ full comments in the video above.