Opinion: Kevin Durant's injury should serve as cautionary tale for athletes everywhere

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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

OAKLAND — Since there’s so much we don’t know about the human body, athletic performance and the nature of injuries, let’s start with the most basic fact that there were two teams, two superstars and two very different paths to the NBA Finals. 

In one corner there’s Kawhi Leonard, who didn’t accept the medical prognosis of his former team, ignored the noise when fans, media and some even within his own locker room suggested he should be playing and came back with a new team that allowed him to play a conservative 60-game regular season schedule to preserve his health for the playoffs. 

In another corner there’s Kevin Durant, who averaged nearly 35 minutes over 78 games in the regular season and played more than 40 minutes in six consecutive playoff games before his calf injury and subsequent comeback attempt Monday night that has become the biggest flashpoint of the NBA Finals. 

Kevin Durant sits on the court after suffering an Achilles injury. (Photo: Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports)

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