Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce Talks Kevin Durant Injury

Lloyd Pierce Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Lloyd Pierce Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

A quick look at a recent interview Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce undertook in The Athletic.

In a far-reaching interview with Chris Kirschner of The Athletic, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce delved into a myriad of topics ahead of what will likely be an incredibly important offseason for himself and the team.

With six picks (currently) in the 2019 NBA Draft as well as plenty of cap space to employ this offseason, the Hawks will likely be big players this offseason, which means that Lloyd Pierce will have a glut of new players to incorporate into his plans in the 2019-20 season.

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Pierce explained to Kirschner that next season will be all about “progression” for the team, and that such progression will be defined by exactly the type of players that are added to the team in the draft and free agency.

Perhaps most notably, Pierce was asked about Kevin Durant’s injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. It must be noted that the Atlanta Hawks poached away Chelsea Lane from the Warriors’ medical staff, and she did a terrific job this season helping to keep players healthy and keeping them out of games until they were fully ready for action.

Pierce was asked about the Warriors’ controversial decision to clear Durant to play in Game 5, and if the Atlanta Hawks mindset would change if they were in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This was Pierce’s response, per Kirschner’s story:

“I think the player probably changes because your pain tolerance level probably goes up because you want to play… I don’t think anyone of us would pressure a player into playing. I don’t think Golden State did that. I think the pressure was externally. Everyone was curious what he was going to do. You feel that as a competitor. You feel that as a staff. You feel that as an organization. If he wasn’t right, I would assume, I would hope, and I would think that none of us would put a player in that position where they feel pressured.”

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Certainly, it’s impossible to know how any team would handle such a situation and Durant’s tragic injury has cast a deep, dark shadow over what has been an extremely entertaining Finals for the most part.