Like a knight in shining armor, a team savior, All-Star Kevin Durant laced up and played quality minutes for the Golden State Warriors In game 5 of the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals. Alas, coming off a calf injury, “KD” aggravated it and worse, suffered a season-ending Achilles tear in the second quarter of the game. His efforts were enough to get the “W” and keep the Warriors down by only one game 2 -3 vs the Toronto Raptors, an opponent proving to be very resilient and seem to know everything to counterplay the Warriors’ offense.
One thing is for certain, Golden State needs more Splash from Steph Curry and Klay Thompson for the rest of the series. Game 6 is on Friday morning Philippine time so let’s see if the Warriors are able to rally behind an injured teammate to get the series to a game 7.
By the time this article is out, we may have a winner already, Palawan.
Free Agency for KD?
In a different twist, how does this injury affect Kevin Durant’s marketability in the free agent market this summer? KD has a player option for next season which means he can opt in to honor that year with the Warriors or simply declare himself an unrestricted free agent this summer. Easy decision? Not really.
Achilles injuries can take a while to heal depending on the gravity of the injury. If his healing projection goes well beyond the summer and into the next NBA season, KD’s marketability on the free agent market might not be as high as what he is capable of raking in. There might be some teams who may shy away from offering the supermax should Durant opt out of the final year of his contract. On this scenario, it’s best for KD to just honor the last year of his contract with Golden State. The injury may have possibly stalled his free agency plans this summer.
However, if doctors say he can heal in time for training camp, it can still be all systems go for his free agency. The next few days post surgery will give us a better picture of what one of the most sought after game changers in the NBA will do and decide on for his future. The world is watching.
World Cup Prep
It is still business as usual for our very own Team Pilipinas players plying their trade in the Philippine Basketball Association but that doesn’t mean the think tanks and management aren’t preparing heavily on the background to prepare for the FIBA China World Cup event later this year.
Team Pilipinas practices will slowly start picking up this month with import and naturalised player Andre Blatche joining on the first week of July.
I am quite certain head coach Yeng Guiao will put forward the tallest and most competitive line up he can assemble. My opinion is he needs 4 quality bigs, 2 solid point guards and a line up of shooters who can space the floor well to allow Blatche to attack the rim more. It is not going to be easy sailing for our boys but we know that they will play with all their hearts out to improve our finish in this year’s version.
Hope they could add Bobby Ray Parks and Jordan Clarkson in the mix. I am certain they can contribute well on our team’s cause. Go Pinas!
(The writer is a senior leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry managing Philippine countryside operations)