Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant is among the few NBA players who benefitted from the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season. With the league on a hiatus for more than four months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Durant got more time to recover from his injury before the season officially resumes on July 31, 2020. Though he’s not expected to immediately regain his All-Star form, his return in the 2020 NBA Playoffs would be highly appreciated by the Nets, who are currently sitting in the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 30-34 record.
As of now, there’s no timetable of return for Durant, but he has already shown massive improvement with his rehabilitation. However, even if he returns to a 100 percent healthy status, it seems he isn’t interested in rejoining the Nets when the season resumes in Orlando, Florida. In a recent interview with former Georgetown basketball players Austin Freeman and Chris Wright on the Dawg Talk podcast — which can be found here — Durant said that even if he’s in perfect shape, he would pass on playing for the remainder of the season.
“I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn’t have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases,” Durant said, as quoted by Josh Weinstein of The Score. “It’s just so unpredictable. It’s easy for me to say right now because I’m injured, but I probably wouldn’t have went down there [to Orlando].”
Durant made it clear that those are only his personal opinions and said he would respect other players’ decisions if they still wanted to play.
“If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that’s cool, I’m with them,” Durant said. “If they don’t feel like they should go down there and play or don’t feel safe, I’m with them too. I’m all about what the group wants.”
It’s hard to blame him for being cautious. As of now, the number of positive coronavirus cases in the United States continues to grow and until a vaccine is developed, the situation is unlikely to return to normal. Durant’s superstar teammate, Kyrie Irving, has also expressed his opposition to the idea of restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando. However, unlike Durant, Irving has other concerns when it comes to the resumption of the season. He believes starting to play again could serve as a major distraction for the ongoing protests against police brutality and racial inequality currently happening in the U.S.