Kevin Durant hasn’t played since Game 5 of the Western Conference Semifinals, yet he’s going to come away the biggest winner – regardless of who wins the NBA Finals.
Durant has been out since suffering a calf injury. He practiced ahead of Game 5 and has been listed as questionable, but the Warrior faithful are hoping for the best possible scenario. But for Durant, it’s a win-win scenario whether he comes back or not.
The two-time Finals MVP’s value has never been higher than it is now. Golden State came into the series riding high after winning five straight without Durant. Some even thought they wouldn’t nee him against the Toronto Raptors and thought another title without him would tarnish his legacy.
Now sitting in a 3-1 hole, Durant is the savior Oakland needs in order for the Warriors to return to Oracle Arena one final time before moving to San Francisco next season. This series proves they’ve needed him all along and he’s been an integral piece in their dynasty run.
Therefore, that leaves a couple of scenarios on how the season could end for him. From a bigger spectrum, the Warriors either win a third straight title or they fall short of the three-peat. However, more specifically, the only losing scenario for Durant is if Golden State comes back from a 3-1 deficit and between his recovery and the play on the court without him, that seems unlikely.
That means Durant either helps the Warriors come back, Durant comes back but they lose because it’s too late or Durant never returns to the court and Golden State loses without him.
However it plays out, Durant’s a winner either by adding a third title to his list of accolades or strengthening his legacy seeing the best team in his era lose the NBA Finals once without him during his tenure.
Not to mention, he goes into free agency following the season with the possibility that now Golden State might up the ante for his services after seeing their share of struggles at the highest stage of the association.
The NBA community might have a sigh of relief and a smile of their face if Toronto can end the Warriors’ reign. But the guy with the biggest smile entering Monday night’s game is Durant.