If you turn on your television, it’s likely you’ll see Brooklyn Nets forward, Kevin Durant sitting in street clothes while observing his team in game action.
That is because KD tore his right Achilles during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
“I’m hurting deeply,” Durant wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post following his surgery.
“But I’m OK. Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.”
After winning multiple NBA Championships with the Golden State Warriors alongside Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, Durant left Northern California via free agency and signed with the Brooklyn Nets. He joined his friend, Kyrie Irving in the Big Apple.
For those keeping score at home: Irving has missed the Nets’ last 20 games with what the Nets are describing as a shoulder impingement.
A viral moment happened last week. During the Nets’ eventual 94-82 loss to rival New York Knicks, Durant and Irving were seated on the Nets bench in street clothes and looked rather disappointed in the Nets’defeat. The internet who remains undefeated created memes with captions that displayed the duo’s displeasure in the Nets’ loss on December 26.
There’s lots of irony there seeing as though many believed that Durant and Irving would both join the New York Knicks via free agency this summer.
Privately, Irving had no intentions of joining the Knicks.
Durant had many ties to the organization. Knicks assistant, Royal Ivey is one of his closest friend and KD is Ivey’s daughter’s godfather. Durant is also a friend to Knicks forward, Allonzo Triierm who he has been mentored throughout his high school and college career.
Million Dollar Question: When will Kevin Durant return to basketball?
Typically recovery time from a torn Achilles tendon vary. Some have said healing time takes about of 9-12 months.
Healing is more than just sitting down and resting.
In fact, Durant, 31 has to build both stamina and muscle mass that he lost during his recovery.
“Most people are off their feet completely for about six weeks then do three to four months of physical therapy or rehabilitation,” Dr. Alan M. Reznik, the chief medical officer at Connecticut Orthopaedic Specialists told Healthline.
“They have to slowly return to activities and often resume full competitive sports anywhere from nine months after injury to about a year.”
Durant is nearing seven months since he injured hi Achilles on June 10, 2019.
The Nets are looking to compete for a championship and want Durant at full strength. After all, they brought him in knowing he was injured. “Whenever you got KD on your team, you’re definitely a contender,” former NBA Slam Dunk Champion Nate Robinson told me on a recent episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“You’re trying to win it all.”
Robinson was Durant’s teammate during when they were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Robinson also starred in Kyrie Irving’s Uncle Drew film.
“As a player you never want to play hurt,” Los Angeles Lakers center, Dwight Howard told New York-based writer, Derrel “Jazz” Johnson over the summer.
“When you get out there and play and lose, everyone’s going to say: ‘Well, you didn’t look hurt to me,’ or whatever it may be. So you have to do what’s going to be best for you in that situation and understand that your body is what you use to make money and while you’re playing you have to make sure you take care of it.”
Appearing on an October 31 espisode of ESPN’s First Take and stated that he “doesn’t plan” on playing for the Nets during the 2019-2020 NBA season even if Brooklyn were to make it to the NBA Playoffs.
Prior to Durant’s appearance on First Take, Brooklyn’s General Manager Sean Marks punctuated Durant’s status back in September by pretty much stating that Durant’s rehab is “going very well.” Marks also indicated that the Nets have no plans of playing KD this year.
“The expectations are that he will be out for the year,” Marks said on September 24.
“We’re not going to plan on playing (him). His rehab obviously will be predetermined over the course of the next few months … ultimately, Kevin will have a large say in when he comes back and how he’s feeling.”
Kevin Durant is a two-time NBA Finals MVP, a regular-season MVP, a four-time NBA scoring champ and a 10-time All-Star.
In a recent interview with NBA scribe Mike Mazzeo, NBA legend Dominique Wilkins says that Durant should tune out all critics, heal and return when he’s ready. “Don’t listen to people telling you what you can or can’t do,” said Wilkins.
“One thing in his favor is that he loves to play. And anybody that loves the game is going to do whatever’s necessary to get back to that star.”