Nets’ Kevin Durant Confirms He Won’t Return from Achilles Injury for NBA Restart

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, who has not played during the 2019-20 season because of a ruptured right Achilles tendon suffered during the NBA Finals last June, told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated he will not suit up when the league resumes play this summer.

“My season is over,” Durant said Friday. “I don’t plan on playing at all. 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.”

Spears also asked whether Durant had the urge to play and if waiting was “best for your process.” Durant replied: “It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.”

In addition, Nets point guard Kyrie Irving said he may travel to Orlando, Florida, to support his teammates, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Like Durant, Irving has no plans to return this season. The point guard underwent shoulder surgery March 3.

The Nets will be one of 22 teams competing when the season resumes July 31, per Wojnarowski. Games have been suspended since March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Durant was one of four Nets who tested positive for COVID-19 in March. One experienced symptoms, while the other three were asymptomatic.

Durant, who was one of the asymptomatic players, spoke about his experience with Spears.

“I was shocked,” Durant said. “And then I was curious. I wanted to know what it meant. What is the virus about? I started to get information about it more and more. It calmed me down. …I was just more curious to what I was dealing with and how I could fight it myself.”

KD also provided an update on his current health:

“I feel good. I didn’t have any symptoms so I am good. I couldn’t leave the house. I knew things would change. The unknown was definitely difficult to deal with. But other than that, I was great.”

As for Durant’s team, the Nets finished the first part of the 2019-20 season with a 30-34 record, good enough for seventh in the Eastern Conference.

They are in position to make the postseason for the second straight year in a row with the Washington Wizards, who are six games behind them with eight contests left, serving as the only team who can knock the Nets out of the playoff picture.

The Nets have an uphill climb to make a deep playoff run without Durant and Irving, but the future is bright with those two back in the mix in 2020-21.