Look. Obviously this (emphasis added), from our own Samer Kalaf, is the correct take:
...the idea of Golden State’s era of dominance concluding with an anti-climactic Finals loss in five games is creating palpable pressure on [Kevin Durant] to get out there on his one healthy leg and toss up some shots so that Quinn Cook doesn’t have to, even though Durant owes the Warriors nothing and there’s practically no chance of him re-signing with the team after the season.
On the other hand: Suit up, coward! It’s the frickin’ Finals!!!! Klay Thompson played Game 4 with a screwed-up hamstring. Kevon Looney played with a cartilage fracture in his friggin’ ribcage, which is honestly kind of difficult to imagine but sounds absolutely disgusting, and more importantly he probably somewhat compromised the overall structural integrity of his ribcage in the process, which meant he at least marginally increased the odds that a hard screen would just collapse the whole thing all at once, smushing his internal organs to a pulp and squeezing this pulp out of his mouth like toothpaste from a tube, killing him instantly and horribly. In fact, objectively speaking, Kevon Looney is a damn fool for playing in Game 4; what the hell was he thinking, he could have died hideously in the aforementioned toothpaste-style fashion. But also he is a hero, unlike the vile coward Kevin Durant, who was at no risk of such a death.
Many of you are saying It is extremely easy for some broken-down old asshole, a pathetic pillow-soft blogger who cannot even walk behind a self-propelling lawnmower from here to there without spending the subsequent week moaning about the pain and using it as an excuse to get out of menial household tasks, to say that a world-class athlete must risk his health and career prospects playing ferocious postseason basketball on one good leg or be labeled a coward. To this I say, cram it. It’s the damn Finals! The team isn’t the Golden State Librarians! They’re the friggin’ Warriors! The mighty Achilles, greatest warrior of antiquity, would not sit out Game 5 of the frickin’ NBA Finals just because he had one bad leg!
Maybe that is not a great example. But you can bet your ass Ajax would be out there swinging the sword, sore calf be damned! Even Ajax the Lesser, who sucked so bad he couldn’t even have his own name, would be out there with his teammates. Those men were warriors.
That’s just the team name, you’re saying now. It’s just something cool-sounding that sells apparel. The Toronto Raptors are not expected to behave like literal dinosaurs. Fair enough, this is true. But also an actual velociraptor would not sit out Game 5 of the NBA Finals just because one of its hind legs had a lil’ booboo on it. A velociraptor would be out there mangling people, limping around absolutely shredding their asses, or at least giving it the ol’ college try.
My point here is that if Kevin Durant doesn’t play tonight, then he is a spineless chickenhearted wuss. But also, if he plays tonight and goes off for 50 points, then all this proves is that he was a spineless chickenhearted wuss all along, when he sat out the first four games of the series despite clearly being healthy enough to go off for 50 points at any time. And also, if he plays tonight and goes 1-for-18 while dragging his dead gangrenous leg around behind him like a bag of trash and moaning involuntarily each time somebody trips over it, then he is still a coward, for shrinking away from the opportunity to seize greatness. Unless the Warriors win, that is, in which case Durant is a front-running clownfraud who sat out until the moment the Raptors became vulnerable. In any event, this blog is over.