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Don't Count This Guy Out ... Or the Impact of Surgical Achilles Repair

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

With just over 2 minutes remaining in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant tore his achilles. Odds of returning to play were not on his side, considering nearly 30% of NBA players don't play pro basketball after achilles tears, and those who go back do so with decreased game utilization and performance at all time points relative to their individual pre-index baselines.

I believe in you!

Still, the Brooklyn Nets signed Durant to a four-year, $164 million contract — without knowing at what level he would return to play... or even if he could return at all. Talk about a Vegas whale-type bet!

Go, Kevin, go!

Now, two years post achilles tear, and playing every second of Game 5 of the 2021 Finals, Durant put up the first-ever 45-15-10 triple-double in NBA Playoff history — with 49 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals and two blocks. Scoring or assisting on 43 of the team's final 52 points, he led the Nets to 114-108 Game 5 victory.

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