Kevin Durant's Achilles injury in Game 5 of last year's NBA Finals helped change the landscape of the NBA.
Though the Warriors won that game, the Raptors went on to take home the NBA title, ending the Warriors' shot at a three- peat. The injury also seems to have impacted Durant's free agency decision, as he left the Warriors to join Kyrie Irving with the Nets.
Durant was recently a guest on The Athletic's Knuckleheads Podcast with former NBA players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, and the 10-time All-Star spoke openly about suffering that injury.
"So, I was planning on playing in the finals when it happened anyway," Durant explained. "So like Game 4, I was asking the trainer every day 'Do you think we could play in this game, do you think I'd be able to play in this game?' He was like 'Yeah, maybe Game 5 looking more realistic, so I just worked until then and checked every box before the game, like did my whole routine."
His first game back after missing the previous 11 because of a calf strain, Durant scored 11 points in the first quarter before the injury.
"I was in it," said Durant. "I really was like, s---, I done came down here, my J feeling nice, I'm hitting bottom, straight bottom, pulling up on the break, and I'm actually playing slide my feet a little bit. So my s--- feeling good, and then I tried to, I felt like I was back at the park, step back real hard, and then I'm telling you it was like boom, and I felt it immediately. It was like a pop and I was like 'Nah.' … It felt like as I was walking, I was walking like on a hill, my right foot was on like a slant … so like I was walking down a hill.
"My whole career just went flashing in front of my eyes."
Durant was officially acquired by the Nets this offseason in a sign-and-trade deal that sent D'Angelo Russell to the Warriors.
Durant, of course, is still recovering from his injury, but his new teammates will begin their regular season against the Timberwolves on Wednesday night at Barclays Center.