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Video: Kevon Looney Explains Why He Played Through Rib Injury in NBA Finals

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2019

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 13: Kevon Looney #5 of the Golden State Warriors posts up on Marc Gasol #33 of the Toronto Raptors during Game Six of the NBA Finals on June 13, 2019 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

Kevon Looney did everything he could to stay on the floor for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

The forward sufferednon-displaced first costal cartilage fracture in Game 2 against the Toronto Raptors and was expected to miss the rest of the postseason, but he returned for Game 4. Though he reaggravated the injury in Game 5, he still played 27 minutes in the clinching Game 6.

Looney explained his reasoning for the decision Tuesday on 95.7 The Game:

95.7 The Game @957thegame

“I couldn’t miss no Finals game.” “Everybody don’t have a chance to play in the Finals.” @Loon_Rebel5 wasn’t going to let an injury stop him https://t.co/faX0xrtKtP

"I didn't wanna have no regrets, or 'Man if I would have played those two last games, man, I would have did this,'" he said. "I wanted to go out there and lay it all on the line, and I did that."

The 23-year-old was trying to play even more minutes before his teammate forced him to come off the floor.

"Kevon couldn't play tonight," Andre Iguodala said after Game 5, per Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports. "I had to tell him, 'Don't play anymore.'"

Looney wasn't able to help the Warriors win their third straight title, although he was a valuable contributor when on the court. He averaged 5.8 points and 3.2 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game during the Finals, with a postseason average of 7.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

He was a reliable part of the rotation throughout the 2018-19 season, appearing in 80 games while averaging 12.2 points and 10.1 rebounds per 36 minutes.

His play earned him a new three-year, $15 million deal in the offseason, and he's expected to play a much bigger role in 2019-20 with Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and others no longer on the roster.

"I look at Kevon," Steve Kerr said in July, per Brian Witt of NBC Sports, "with all of our departures, he's now one of our best players and one of the guys that we're really going to count on from night to night."

The toughness he displayed during the postseason will endear himself to his teammates as he tries to take the next step in his career.