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Kevin Durant was one of the biggest stars in the NBA not too long ago, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder qualify for the NBA Finals in 2012. Since then, though, the Thunder have been a disappointment and Durant has been injured frequently, which has led some to question whether or not Kevin Durant is becoming a bust during his professional career.
Kevin Durant’s Injury Woes
For Kevin Durant, the descent from superstar to on the sidelines has been a quick one, and has completely been caused by injuries. Last year, Durant missed the bulk of the season and was forced to rehabilitate for an extended period of time due to foot and ankle injuries. Expected to return in top condition for this year, Durant wasn’t able to remain there for an extended period of time, as he has again been injured.
This time, Kevin Durant has suffered a minor hamstring injury. He is only expected to miss 7-10 days of action, but more important than the length of his time out of action is the fact that he is still experiencing leg injuries in new places, leaving himself vulnerable to further issues down the road. If that continues to happen, Kevin Durant won’t live up to the potential everyone has seen in him since he became a star player.
Kevin Durant’s Legacy In Question
Right now, the very legacy of Kevin Durant is in jeopardy due to the injuries that have plagued him over the last two seasons. After winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2013, Durant has failed to continue to be a key contributor for his team, which has seen the Oklahoma City Thunder struggle as a result.
If Kevin Durant wants to be remembered as more than a great scorer whose career was shortened due to injury, he will need to get healthy and stay healthy for extended periods of time, something he has not done in quite some time. If he can’t do that, he’ll be remembered in a similar way to Greg Oden and other potential stars who were cut down before fully realizing their potential.
Durant is also involved in one of the biggest what-ifs in basketball history, as the Thunder traded away superstar guard James Harden to keep Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Serge Ibaka together for the foreseeable future. If Durant fails to live up to the hype around him, that trade will only continue to look worse for Thunder general manager Sam Presti and the team.
Importance Of Kevin Durant’s Return
For the Oklahoma City Thunder, the focus now turns to getting Kevin Durant healthy and back on the floor once again. As they saw last year, Durant’s absence can have disastrous effects on the team, as they failed to qualify for the Western Conference playoffs despite an amazing season of output from point guard Russell Westbrook.
This season, if Durant can’t remain healthy, teams will have more experience trying to stop Russell Westbrook as the Thunder’s primary scoring option, which will make success even harder to obtain for Oklahoma City.
By: Jason M. Sanin