Apr 27, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) drives the ball around Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) in the first quarter during game three in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Durant suffered a fracture in his foot that will require him to miss the next six to eight weeks.
This opens a revolving door of questions:
Can Oklahoma City still earn a No. 1 seed?
Can Durant come back mid-season and somehow still win the scoring crown?
Is his career in jeopardy?
There’s really no way to know the answer to any of these three questions yet. Missing two months of the season is roughly 1/3rd of the year, enough to hinder the OKC Thunder from being the San Antonio Spurs, or whichever other team might contend for the best record in the West.
The scoring title is slightly less relevant, but with Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and James Harden vying for the title, it is now wide open.
Durant has already been a four-time winner, but only Rose and Bryant have won it in the past, Rose once and Kobe twice, respectively.
As to whether his career is in jeopardy, all of us hope not. But the fact is that foot injuries have been problematic in the careers of many NBA superstars. Bill Walton, Yao Ming and Kevin McHale had their careers derailed by it.
The only success story is Zydrunas Ilgauskas. There is one startling difference here, in that Durant is much thinner and more svelte than these big men.
Perhaps having a lighter load enable the foot to heal well, and for Durant to prolong his NBA career. Seeing another legend succumb to career ending injuries is nothing any NBA fan wishes. But if it turns out to be the case, there will be a major power shift in the Western Conference. For the time being, we’ll just wish Durant a swift and healthy recovery.