“It feels like eternity,” Durant told Nets teammate, Kyrie Irving via Instagram Live on Saturday night.
“It’s been 18 months.
“We here now. We might as well lock in.”
Irving is just as excited. “I can’t wait to get this thing going,” he said.
“We move different over here.”
Durant’s 18 Month NBA Hiatus
Durant injured his right Achilles during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals while he was still a member of the Golden State Warriors and the Dubs were playing against the Kawhi Leonard, Kyrle Lowry-led Toronto Raptors
Prior to his Achilles injury, Durant suffered a mild calf sprain.
Durant opted to have surgery and later signed with the Nets last offseason.
“My road back starts now,” Durant posted on Instagram following his surgery.
“I got my family and my loved ones by my side and we truly appreciate all the messages and support people have sent our way,” Durant wrote on Instagram about the injury he suffered against Toronto in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday. “I’m hurting deeply, 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.”
“He’s one of the most misunderstood people,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said after Durant’s injury in the NBA Finals.
“He’s a good teammate, he’s a good person, it’s not fair. I’m lucky to know him. I don’t have all the information on what really the extent of what it all means until we get a MRI, but the people that worked with him and cleared him are good people, they’re good people.”
Durant and Irving will play together as Nets teammates for the first time in their preseason exhibition against the Wizards.
Nets Starting Lineup in Preseason Game Vs. Washington Wizards
Sunday’s projected lineup against the Wizards will have Irving starting at point guard, Durant starting at power forward, Joe Harris at the small forward slot, Spencer Dinwiddie at shooting guard and DeAndre Jordan at center.
Speaking of lineups, while on Instagram Live Irving and Durant discussed the likelihood of Irving playing in the post during some plays this season.
Irving discussed posting up other point guards and that he’d like to have seven post up opportunities per game this season. “I feel like every play down I have a mismatch,” Irving told Durant.
“So I think with that mentality and having a post guard is a great balance.”
Irving then joked about posting up the full length of the court like Mark Jackson.
“You not backing nobody down from half, man,” laughed Durant.
Durant and Irving also reprised their NBA Finals matchup when Irving was a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Durant was a Warrior.
Durant suggested that he implemented the best full court defense that Irving’s ever faced in his whole career.
“When I decided to guard you for those 2-3 minutes, nobody had seen you for 3 minutes,” said Durant.
“I was wondering where Kyrie was at when I got on him.”
“That was Hall of fame worthy,” Irving replied.
Music & Art
Durant also discussed his choice in music.
“If I hear Sam Cooke it instantly takes me back to my childhood,” Durant told Irving.
“When I listen to Biggie you realized he didn’t take a bar off.”
They also discusssed art.“It’s not [just] about basketball,” said Irving.
“How do we protect our fellow artists out there? How do we protect our community leaders?”
“I respect everybody.
“I’m not the only one out here that’s changing lives.
“I’m a humble human being working on myself daily.”
“I’m grateful to share this world with so many different individuals.
“I’m not responsible for speaking on behalf of everyone.
“You can allow the external world to make you crazy. For what?”
The Nets open up their preseason on Sunday against the Wizards. They’ll play another preseason game on Sunday against the Boston Celtics.
The Nets open their season at home on Tuesday December 22 against the Warriors, Durant’s former team. On Christmas, the Nets will play Irving’s former team the Boston Celtics.