OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant dealt with so much scrutiny when he decided to join Golden State last July, he keeps reminding himself of that and considering the big picture as he waits again to get healthy and help his team.
"It's not life or death. I'm not on my death bed," Durant said Friday. "I got on the court today. It's not the end of the world. ... When I came here a lot of people in this basketball bubble made it feel like it was the worst thing I ever did in life. It felt like I killed somebody. So, I have to step back and look at it and realize it's not serious at all. It's basketball. That's all it is, it's just basketball."
Durant participated in a light practice and was still listed as questionable to play in Saturday's Game 3 of the playoffs at Portland because of a strained left calf.
He appeared to be moving well while doing shooting work alongside Stephen Curry after the workout, though coach Steve Kerr doesn't plan to play Durant until he's been deemed fully healthy without risk of making the injury worse.
"I'm not ready to say he's 100 per cent, so as long he's not 100 per cent, we've got to be cautious and make the right decision," Kerr said ahead of his team's flight to Portland. "We want 100 per cent health. Look, if it was Game 7 of the NBA Finals he'd play because we're not talking about anything that could damage his career. But what we're talking about is something that if it could potentially get worse and knock him out for a few weeks, then it's not worth it."
Durant injured the calf in the third quarter of Sunday's Game 1 victory against the Trail Blazers but said Friday he's unsure how he did so, then it tightened up afterward. As disappointed as he is to be injured again, KD said he doesn't want to cause himself to miss extended time by rushing back.
He had 32 points and 10 rebounds in the Game 1 win before sitting out Game 2.
For Durant, it's been a trying stretch since he went down with a left knee injury Feb. 28 at Washington that cost him 19 games before he returned for the final three contests of the regular season.
"He's frustrated," Kerr said. "And as you can imagine, especially coming off the six weeks of inactivity, he's dying to be out on the floor. He's one of the top few players in the entire league. It's been such a great year for the NBA, so much talk about 'who's the MVP' and this and that. He's used to being part of the discussion and now he's been sitting. But now the discussion is about him sitting, it's not about him playing. That's frustrating for anybody, but especially for one of the best players in the league. It's driving him nuts but he knows this is the right approach."
More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball