Back in the summer of 2019, Kevin Durant's career changed forever.
In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the 12x All-Star went down with an Achilles tear that sidelined him for the entirety of the following season.
It was a turning point for the 4x Scoring Champ's career, which he recently spoke about in a chat with JJ Redick on "The Old Man & The Three."
"I did ask myself should I have made a different decision, going out there and playing. And then after three or four times and asking myself, like 'what good is that gonna do' so I moved past it pretty quick. But I knew it was gonna be a struggle coming back. The uncertainty of how it was gonna play was just f**king with me. Like, every day, like watching games, 'could I pull up on break like that?' 'Can I still get to the rim and jump off my right leg like that?' Kowing I couldn't get in the gym for four months was crazy but once I got a chance to like test it out, that's when it went just downhill, everything was better."
To this day, there are some who believed Durant shouldn't have been playing at all that day. In the West Finals, he strained his right calf and it seems even Durant himself was unsure if he should have returned so soon.
Regardless, the Warriors lost that series in 2019, and they lost again when Durant left to join the Nets a few weeks later.
In Brooklyn, KD has made a surprising comeback. Despite suffering a major, potentially career-ending injury, the guy has resurfaced as one of the best players in basketball.
This season, through 54 games, he's averaging 30.1 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists on 52% shooting.
Unfortunately, his Nets have endured a rough campaign so far, full of injuries and many behind-the-scenes distractions. The team is just 43-38 with a few games left to go.
Still, the D.C. native hasn't lost his Championship mindset, and it might be what pushed him to come back so strong from his Achilles tear.
"I've been saying this the whole year like each day matters like the next day matters, you know like, what we got in front of us, we could talk about expectations and when you see this team on the paper, I always said this, but everyday matters. You wanna be a champion, every second that's your step on the floor, not just when you play a good team or playoffs coming up, I think being a champion is in the habits, the work ethic, the care that you have for the game, you know," said Kevin Durant on what it takes to be a Champion.
With Kyrie Irving back as a full-time player, and Durant playing like an MVP again, Brooklyn is still a threat to make some noise in the postseason.
Sunday's game against Indiana will be their last before the title chase begins, and it's the perfect time for the 33-year-old to prove once again why he's one of the best.