When Caesars released updated title odds for Brooklyn earlier this week—the popular sportsbook bumped the Nets up from 750-1 longshots to 60-1 upon news of the NBA’s return in Orlando next month—many wondered if Vegas knew something the rest of us didn’t. Now a full calendar year removed from his torn Achilles, could former MVP Kevin Durant return for the Nets’ postseason run? It was never a likely scenario, though now we know for sure that when seventh-seeded Brooklyn returns to the hardwood in July, Durant will not be in uniform.
“My season is over,” the two-time Finals MVP confirmed in an interview with The Undefeated. “We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
Along with Durant, All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving is also unlikely to return this season after undergoing shoulder surgery in March, a procedure that typically requires a six-month recovery. Irving, who averaged 27.4 points per game in his debut season for Brooklyn, could join the team in Disney World, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, but would only be a spectator.
Durant, who won a pair of championships with Golden State prior to joining Brooklyn in 2019, said his Achilles is on the mend, though the 31-year-old knows that sitting out the season is what’s best for his long-term future, and by extension, the Nets. “I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month,” the former second-overall pick admitted. “It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.”
The 13-year veteran also shared his thoughts on the ongoing George Floyd protests, praising the black community for making its voice heard during a tumultuous time in our country’s history. “It’s beautiful to see everybody coming together as one right now for what we all believe in, which is equality,” said Durant, who is still reeling from the “horrible” footage of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, ultimately suffocating him. “The black community always sticks together through tragedy.”