NBA

Barkley on Durant injury: They should not have put that man out there!

By Sports Desk June 11, 2019

Charles Barkley has slammed the Golden State Warriors' decision to let Kevin Durant play in their 106-105 Game 5 NBA Finals win over the Toronto Raptors.

Golden State's star forward went down with a serious Achilles problem in the second quarter of Monday's contest, with Barkley blaming the team and media for pushing him towards a premature return from injury. 

Barkley referenced several articles questioning Durant's dedication to the Warriors, as some expect him to decline his player option this summer and test the free-agency waters. 

But he added it was ultimately Golden State's decision to clear Durant.

"I blame the Warriors for KD getting hurt and I don't care what they say about it," Barkley said on ESPN's 'Get Up'. 

"They shouldn't have put that man out there. You know how I know it? Because he blew out his Achilles."

Durant had not played since Golden State's Game 5 win over the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs, during which he suffered a calf sprain. 

His Monday appearance marked his first in 32 days and Barkley responded to speculation that the Warriors star might have rushed himself to help his team-mates, who were down 3-1 in the championship series.

"I don't think you can ever leave it up to a player," Barkley said. "Players always want to play. 

"But I think if you ask any rational player - Damon [Jones], Jalen Rose, Jay Williams - to put a guy who hadn't played basketball in over a month into Game 5 of the Finals and have some type of move around the day before, I don't think that's fair to that man.

"You saw the result. It's Game 5 of the world championship. He hasn't played real basketball in over a month. That's unfair to put him in that situation. The proof is in the pudding."

Durant was productive during his time on the court, though. He scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting in just 12 minutes before exiting the game, and his MRI on Tuesday should reveal the severity of his injury.

"I don't believe there's anybody to blame, but I understand this world. If you have to, you can blame me," Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers told reporters.

Game 6 of the NBA Finals will tip off on Thursday at Oracle Arena, with the Raptors' lead now 3-2.

Related items

  • Australia's first victory over Team USA can be a building block - Mills Australia's first victory over Team USA can be a building block - Mills

    Australia beat the United States for the first time in history in Melbourne on Saturday and Patty Mills hopes the Boomers can build something special from the landmark achievement.

    Team USA won the first exhibition 102-86 at Marvel Stadium on Thursday, but the hosts responded with a 98-94 victory in front of 52,079 fans two days later.

    Australia came from 10 points down in the second half, with San Antonio Spurs guard Mills scoring 30 – including the last 10 for the Boomers – to see out a historic triumph.

    "It's a building block for us. We've been taking it step by step and understanding that this is process. But it's good to get everyone back and get everyone on the floor," said Mills in an on-court interview.

    "This is just one step towards our progress and ultimate goal of creating history and winning a medal, so we're locked in on that focus for sure.

    "The support has been amazing. We've been through a lot of adversity as a team, as a programme.

    "We're very proud to represent these colours and represent them the right way and we're doing it as a team, as a group, as best mates."

    Kemba Walker scored 22 points off the bench for Gregg Popovich's USA side, while Harrison Barnes had 20 points and six rebounds in 26 minutes.

    Team USA conclude their tour in Sydney on Sunday when they face Canada, who will meet Australia in their FIBA World Cup opener in China on September 1.

  • Kings coach Luke Walton cleared in sexual assault investigation Kings coach Luke Walton cleared in sexual assault investigation

    The Sacramento Kings and NBA announced on Friday they have cleared coach Luke Walton after a four-month investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

    Kelli Tennant, a former Spectrum SportsNet reporter, sued Walton on April 22, accusing him of sexual assault, verbal and physical harassment and unwanted physical contact over a three-year period.

    A day later, Tennant held a press conference and recounted an alleged incident at a Los Angeles hotel in 2014 during which, she said, Walton pinned her to a bed.

    At the time of the alleged incident Walton was an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors.Tennant's lawsuit and news conference came only a week after he was named the Kings head coach.

    Her allegations prompted the NBA and Kings to launch a joint investigation. Almost two-dozen people were interviewed during the investigation, but despite "repeated attempts" to interview Tennant, she did not participate on the advice of her legal team, according to an NBA statement.

    The statement read: "Based on this and the available evidence, the investigators determined that there was not a sufficient basis to support the allegations made against Coach Walton."

    Tennant's civil suit is believed to still be active. Tennant's attorney, Garo Mardirossian of Los Angeles, did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Sacramento Bee.

    Walton, who coached the Los Angeles Lakers for three seasons before parting ways with the team in April, takes over a Kings club that finished 39-43 last season.

    "I am 100 per cent focused on coaching the Sacramento Kings and energised to work with this incredible group of players and coaches as we start this preseason," Walton said in a statement on Friday. "I will have no further comment."

    "Luke Walton is our head coach and we support him and his team as they continue to prepare for the upcoming season," the Kings said in a statement.

  • Timberwolves need Wiggins 'to be a main contributor' – Rosas Timberwolves need Wiggins 'to be a main contributor' – Rosas

    The Minnesota Timberwolves need Andrew Wiggins to be more consistent, according to president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas.

    Wiggins signed a five-year, $146.5million extension with the Timberwolves in October 2017, but the 24-year-old regressed over the last two NBA seasons. 

    Rosas was asked about Wiggins – the 2015 Rookie of the Year – and his development during an appearance at the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday.

    "Andrew in particular with his talent and physical abilities, the potential he's shown, we've got to get that on a more consistent basis," Rosas told the Star Tribune. 

    "He's focused on it as well. In order for us to have the success we want to have, he's got to be a main contributor. He understands that, we understand that."

    The Timberwolves acquired Wiggins from the Cleveland Cavaliers before his rookie season as the centrepiece of the Kevin Love trade.

    Wiggins averaged 18.1 points and 4.8 rebounds while shooting a career-low 41.2 per cent from the field in 2018-19.

    Rosas thinks Wiggins will benefit from playing under Ryan Saunders, who was named the Timberwolves head coach after serving in an interim role to end last season. 

    "To be fair to [Wiggins], he needs some continuity in terms of coaching, philosophy, strategy and style of play," Rosas said. "We think he's going to be one of the better beneficiaries of this style of play.

    "His physical tools, talent and skill. We do feel there's a lot of upside for him. He's worked very hard this summer. He's been committed to everything that we've done."

    The Timberwolves finished 2018-19 with a 36-46 record and missed the playoffs.

     

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.