Update 06/13/2019 9:13am:
Now that it's become clear that Kevin Durant has played his last game of this NBA season, the focus has shifted to his status in the long term as it's been noted how devasting an Achilles injury can be. For that reason, basketball analysts have started to compare KD's injury to other players who had been dealt the same circumstances, with consideration to the timetables involved as well as their quality of play when they returned to the court.
Most recently, KD's teammate DeMarcus Cousins suffered a season-ending Achilles injury last season, where after 357 days of inaction many experts noted that he showed less speed and athleticism when he made his return back in January. To his credit, however, he's showed some flashes in the NBA Finals and will be relied upon heavily during tonight's final game ever at the Oracle Arena.
Otherwise, Rudy Gay and Wesley Matthews both suffered the same injury in recent years and missed 273 and 237 games respectively, while prior to that Kobe Bryant is perhaps the most notable example as a player whose career was impacted indefinitely. With that said, Bryant was 34-years-old when he ruptured his Achilles towards the end of the 2012/13 season, which is four years older than Durant who most would believe is in the midst of his prime.
Going even further back in NBA history is Dominique Wilkins, who tore his Achilles in the 1990/91 season and is known as the only player who came back even stronger than he was before. Wilkins averaged 29.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on 46.8 percent shooting in his first season back from injury, a performance that many believe makes him only an exception to the rule.
Original 06/12/2019 6:58pm:
Kevin Durant shared a photo on Wednesday (June 12) from his hospital bed after having surgery on his ruptured Achilles. He shared with fans that the surgery was successful and added that he's "hurting deeply."
"What’s good everybody I wanted to update you all: I did rupture my Achilles. Surgery was today and it was a success, EASY MONEY. My road back starts now! I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way. Like I said Monday, I'm hurting deeply, but I'm OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat."
Durant added, "Its just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W. It's going to be a journey but I'm built for this. I’m a hooper. I know my brothers can get this Game 6, and I will be cheering with dub nation while they do it."
Depending on his recovery time, Durant could miss the entire 2019-2020 season, leading to questions about Durant's pending free agency.