On Friday, the Brooklyn Nets announced that Kevin Durant will remain out through the NBA All-Star Break due to a left hamstring strain that he suffered in his return to Golden State. The injury has already sidelined him for two weeks.
Naturally, the NBA’s first order of business was to find a replacement for the All-Star captain in this year’s game.
Kevin Durant Will Not Participate in All-Star Weekend
Originally ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that Indiana Pacers’ star Domantas Sabonis would be replacing Durant. On the season Sabonis is averaging 21.5 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game.
However, it turned out later that Sabonis would not be replacing the All-Star captain but rather Boston Celtics’ star Jayson Tatum. On the season Tatum is averaging 25.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game.
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Kevin Durant Has To Be Cautious About Injury
Durant’s career was up in the air two years ago, after he suffered an Achilles injury in the 2019 NBA Finals. Many questioned whether he would be able to come back and play at the same level he has been, or at all.
After a year of recovery and getting back in shape, Durant has shown that there is nothing that can stop him. He is currently averaging 29 points a game on 56% shooting, his most efficient percentage career-wise. Not to mention his team, the Brooklyn Nets, are second in the Eastern Conference.
Even with the outstanding performance, one must not forget that statistics have shown when someone tears their Achilles tendon, the chances of coming back to original form are slim to none. With that, the Nets’ organization is paying close attention and taking all the precautions to ensure that their top scorer is in the best shape to bring them a championship. That is why he has been sitting out for the past six games with a left hamstring injury.
Durant suffered the injury while playing the Golden State Warriors earlier in the month. At first, reports said that he would be back in action before this year’s All-Star game. However, After extensive tests and a follow-up MRI, the Nets announced that Durant will be out through the break.
“While we are confident that Durant will return at full strength, this extra recovery time will allow him to perform at the level at which he has been playing this season once he returns,” the team said in a statement issued on Friday.
The past few games have not slowed anything down for the Nets, as they have been on an eight-game winning streak, seven of which were without Durant.
James Harden has shown out and continues to strengthen his case for the league’s Most Valuable Player award every time he steps out on the court for the Nets. Harden currently leads the league in assists with 11.1 per game.
While not being able to play in a second consecutive All-Star game must be gut-wrenching for Durant, being healthy for a deep playoff run is a much higher priority for both him and the Nets.