Before Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors, Kevin Durant had started all 866 games he has played in his NBA career. Friday he was the Brooklyn Nets‘ sixth man. Durant did not start the game for the Nets because he had entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols moments before tip-off. Late in the first quarter, Durant entered the game as he had passed the protocols but was pulled in the second half after playing just 19 minutes because there was an error made in clearing him to play. Friday was Durant’s first game with the Nets where he did not score at least 20 points. Nets head coach Steve Nash says it is unclear when the 2014 Most Valuable Player will return.
Durant Will Likely Miss Saturdays Game Against Sixers
“I don’t believe he’ll come to Philly,” Nash told the media after Friday’s loss against the Toronto Raptors via SNY. “I don’t think they’ve necessarily decided. It’s just a contract tracing procedure and I think it’s to be determined how much time he’ll have to miss but we’re just gathering information still at this point.”
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The Nets had a chance to take over the number-one seed in the Eastern Conference from the Philadelphia 76ers this weekend. After losing the game and Durant, the Nets will have to have a short memory as they get on the road to Philly for a meeting with Most Valuable Player award frontrunner Joel Embiid. They will have to do so without their best player.
Nash Details Why Durant Was Pulled in Second Half
“I believe they continued to test to try to gain clarity,” Nash continued. “I think there was a positive test, there was I think a negative test, I think there was an inconclusive test. I think [if] you add it all up it was misleading for a moment and that is why he was allowed to play and then they continued to test to try to gather more data. Then the last test was positive, so I think that was the final straw that pulled him out of the game. But I don’t want to say too much because my head is spinning a little bit from all the parameters of Kevin’s situation but also trying to coach our team in a shifting landscape.”
According to ESPN’s Malika Andrews, the NBA says that Durant came in close contact with an individual on Friday Afternoon, who later tested positive. That is why Durant was pulled from the game in the second half.
KD already had to undergo a seven-day quarantine due to contract tracing earlier this season. Whether he must undergo a second seven-day quarantine this season after being pulled from Friday’s game is up to the results of the NBA’s pending investigation according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“The NBA will start to do the work on how much time and in what proximity Durant was to the associate who tested positive for the coronavirus,” Wojnarowski tweeted on Friday. “That’ll help determine how long he has to stay in the health and safety protocol.”
While Durant is still in the protocol, the rest of the Brooklyn Nets have been cleared to play Saturday’s game in Philadelphia according to Wojnarowski.