"Yes, there is somebody to blame: the Golden State Warriors for putting KD out there."
After missing the Golden State Warriors' last nine playoff games due to a reported calf injury, Kevin Durant gave it a go in Game 5 amid reports that he was feeling pressure to help out his teammates.
Durant was stellar early on, scoring 11 points in 12 minutes of action, but ultimately suffered an achilles injury that will likely keep him sidelined for much, much longer. KD certainly wanted to be out on the floor last night, but some are questioning the Warriors for putting the ball in his court.
For instance, NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley says the Golden State Warriors are absolutely to blame for KD's injury, because they're the ones who allowed him to compete. During an appearance on ESPN's Get Up on Tuesday morning, Barkley explained (h/t Bleacher Report):
"You've been asking these guys all morning if there's somebody to blame. Yes, there is somebody to blame: the Golden State Warriors for putting KD out there. Listen, that was not right. If you go back and look at the last two weeks—the article comes out, KD's worst nightmare that the Warriors are winning without him. Then you come out, you 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? Because he blew out his Achilles."
"I don't think you can ever leave it up to a player. Players always want to play. But ... to put a guy, who hasn't played basketball in over a month into Game 5 of the Finals, and had some type of move around the day before, I don't think that's fair to that man, and you saw the result—it's just not fair. It's Game 5 of the world championship. He hasn't played real basketball in a month. That's unfair to put him in that situation, and the proof is in the pudding, plain and simple."