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Report: There was hope Kevin Durant would play in Game 4 of NBA Finals, but Warriors have felt for a while Game 5 return was likelier

Kevin Durant

A new report has just emerged pertaining to Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant and his potential availability for his team’s Friday night Game 4 defeat at the hands of the Toronto Raptors. According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, there was real hope that the reigning back-to-back Finals MVP would suit up for the Dubs for Game 4, which obviously did not come to fruition:

Sources say there was a very real hope that Durant would be able to play in Game 4, to push through in much the same way that Thompson, Cousins, Iguodala and Looney have done of late.

Amick also described how Durant’s prolonged absence has somewhat dampened the collective spirit of the Warriors, with some of the players unable to comprehend why the 10-time All-Star hasn’t yet returned. After all, this is the NBA Finals, and there is no more tomorrow after this series.

However, the team’s officials immediately came to the defense of the four-time scoring champ, making it abundantly clear that it is not Durant’s decision to make and that Game 5 was a more likely return target anyway:

Warriors officials aren’t running from the reality that there’s frustration among some players, but they’re also quick to point out that trainer Rick Celebrini – not Durant – is making this call. And until Celebrini gives Durant the go-ahead, his long and painful stretch of absences will extend into this pivotal Warriors summer where his free agency future remains unclear. What’s more, two sources insist that the Warriors have believed for quite some time that Game 5 was the earliest time in which he would likely return.

This is water under the bridge now, and the most important takeaway here is there seems to be a legitimate chance Durant is actually able to come back for Game 5. Down 3-1 in the series and on the brink of seeing their dynasty come to an abrupt end, the Warriors defnitely need him now more than ever.