The NBA may be gearing up to resume play in Florida, but Kevin Durant isn’t going to be taking part.
Durant, despite being nearly a year removed from tearing his Achilles’ tendon and “feeling like a normal player again,” told ESPN on Friday that he has no plans on playing with the Brooklyn Nets when play resumes at the end of July.
“My season is over,” Durant said, via ESPN. “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.”
Durant injured his Achilles during the NBA Finals last season when he was with the Golden State Warriors. He was always expected to miss the entirety of the 2019-20 season recovering.
However, once the COVID-19 pandemic forced the league to suspend operations for several months, many speculated that Durant’s timeline may have changed and he’d be fully healed to join the team when play resumes at Disney World on July 31. Nets general manager Sean Marks didn’t rule out that idea last month, either.
Durant, 31, told ESPN that he’s working out every day, in his summertime routine and is essentially back to normal. His addition to the team could significantly bolster their chances at making a run in the postseason, too.
Still, though, he’s not willing to rush anything.
“It’s just best for me to wait,” Durant said, via ESPN. “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.”
George Floyd’s death, protests
Durant, like countless others in the sports world, was horrified after seeing George Floyd’s death late last month.
Floyd was killed in police custody and video of his arrest — which showed a white Minneapolis police officer with his knee in the back of Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes while Floyd yelled out, “I can’t breathe” — quickly went viral. All four officers involved in his death have since been arrested.
“It made me think about all the previous videos we’ve seen involving police brutality,” Durant said, via ESPN. “At that point, you get tired of seeing it or wondering if things are going to change or whether we will see this again in the future. Will people’s hearts change? There are just so many questions going through my mind when you see a black man getting slaughtered on TV and on camera like that.
“It’s damaging to see another life being taken away from us. Someone with a family. Someone who was a father. A son. A friend. It was just horrible to see, especially coming from people who are supposed to be protecting us. We’re really supposed to feel like we are safe all around. It’s a weird time we are in now.”
While they haven’t all been good, Durant said he was happy to see the response that has come after Floyd’s death.
Massive protests and riots have popped up in cities across the country, and have been going strong since Floyd’s death nearly two weeks ago.
“It’s been good to see so many different people’s voices being heard around this time. So many different ethnicities coming together to bring awareness to what we’ve been talking about for a while now,” Durant said, via ESPN. “Our generation, the younger got involved. Our parents and their parents were fighting for the same thing. To finally see the world come together and all of these big corporations who never spent time to talk about it, you can tell that when we move as one we’re pretty powerful.”
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