After the Nets fell to Milwaukee on Tuesday, two former MVPs met up at center court to show each other respect. Brooklyn star Kevin Durant and Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo spent about 12 seconds chatting each other up after scoring a combined 68 points.
Before the game, Durant showed respect to another famous athlete, albeit one from a different sport.
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Durant Pays Respect to CC Sabathia
Durant showed up to Fiserv Forum in a white t-shirt with a photo of former Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia on it. The photo shows Sabathia as a high schooler — before he spent 11 seasons with the Yankees, before he was a six-time MLB All-Star, before he won the 2007 American League Cy Young Award. Sabathia, now 40, is wearing a Vallejo High baseball jersey in the photo, which has the phrase “Game Recognize Game” lightly inscribed over it in white.
The Nets posted a photo of Durant wearing the Sabathia t-shirt to their Instagram page. Sabathia took a screenshot of the post and shared it to his own Instagram story, captioning it with four fire emojis. Durant did the same on his Instagram page, captioning the photo with “Vallejo’s finest.”
It’s evident both stars are fans of each other.
Sabathia, who was born and raised in Northern California, is a lifelong Golden State Warriors fan. In 2019, when Durant was still a member of the Warriors, Sabathia took to Twitter wish Durant well after KD suffered a ruptured Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Sabathia captioned the Tweet, which included a photo of him and Durant, with: “You’re a true Warrior @KDTrey5 with my respect forever get well soon!”
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Durant, Nets Working on Continuity
While Durant’s recovery and bounce-back from his torn Achilles has been nothing short of miraculous for the Nets, lesser injuries have cost him several games over the course of this season. James Harden and Kyrie Irving — the other two members of Brooklyn’s Big Three — also have dealt with sporadic injury-related absences this season.
All of that has meant less time for these Nets to mesh on the court together. Durant, Harden and Irving have played only seven games together since the team traded for Harden in mid-January.
After Brooklyn dropped its third straight game on Tuesday, Durant was asked about the team’s continuity and where it stands with just six games left in the regular season.
“That is a huge factor. Continuity is a big thing in this league,” Durant said, via SNY. “But we got veterans on this team that played in different situations that know pretty much every terminology that goes on in this league and every kind of set that we run on both sides. That’s in our advantage as well, having that veteran leadership. But, you know, we still are a connected group. I feel like we’ve been together for years, so we got to continue to keep building on that.”