According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant won’t return to the court this season, even if the NBA waits until mid-summer to resume play.
Since his Achilles injury in the NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors, Durant left the Golden State Warriors and joined the Nets with guard Kyrie Irving. The two friends were in long-talks to play together, with many rumors tracing their coming together to the New York Knicks. Instead, the two went across town and chose to play in Barclays Center instead of Madison Square Garden.
The dysfunction of the Knicks the past two decades impacted that decision, as it has impacted every major free agent decision for the Knicks.
By the time Durant suits up for the Nets, he will be 32, owed three years of a max contract and fresh off an Achilles injury that normally ends careers. But, with Durant’s style of play, there is optimism that he will return and be the same MVP-caliber player as before.
The Nets, who have endured a less-than-satisfying season (seems to be a trend with Irving-led teams), are looking forward to next season, when a healthy Durant and Irving can finally share the court together.
The ultimate element working against Durant and Irving are on-court chemistry, which is what the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors (has no one mentioned how incredible the Raptors look without Kawhi Leonard? This is a serious NBA Finals contender) and Boston Celtics all have together. Before the Nets make the NBA Finals, they will have to overcome those teams.
Durant has shown that winning doesn’t solve everything. Even as the NBA Finals MVP for the Warriors’ teams that won back-to-back titles, Durant was never content with the situation and wanted more. Playing alongside Steph Curry and Klay Thompson was too much for him. And if that’s the case, how is Irving going to make that transition any easier?