How Kevin Durant's injury alters the NBA landscape — this summer and beyond

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What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt discuss reaction to Kevin Durant’s Achillies injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
USA TODAY

TORONTO – Rarely is an NBA Finals victory as subdued as Golden State’s Game 5 win over Toronto on Monday.

But rarely does an NBA Finals game see a devastating injury to one of the game’s stars.

Now what for Kevin Durant?

His torn right Achilles sustained in Golden State’s win could have a ripple effect not only on Durant and Golden State’s prospects of winning a third consecutive championship, but on Durant’s future, free agency this summer, the 2019-20 season and the NBA record books.

The implications are far, wide and deep.

Late Monday night, emotional Warriors general manager Bob Myers had trouble getting words out in defense of Durant and his desire to get back on the court following the strained calf he sustained on May 8 against Houston in the Western Conference semifinals.

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Durant’s immediate future

Now that those worst fears are confirmed, Durant will likely miss next season. Achilles ruptures are not all that common, at least compared to other serious injuries such as torn anterior cruciate…

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