Nets superstar Kevin Durant could miss multiple games as he undergoes contact tracing under the league’s health and safety protocols, ESPN’s Malika Andrews and Adrian Wojnarowski report.
Durant will not travel with the team to Philadelphia for tonight’s matchup against the Sixers and it remains to be seen if he will suit up Tuesday in Detroit.
It was an odd series of events on Friday night as Durant was initially held out of the Nets’ home tilt against the Raptors to undergo contact tracing. Someone Durant had been in contact with returned an inconclusive COVID-19 test but after being given the all-clear, Durant returned to the bench and entered the game late in the first quarter.
The 32-year-old seemed out of rhythm, registering just eight points while also picking up four fouls early into the third quarter. As officials reviewed a foul called on Durant, he was deemed ineligible to remain in the game due to health and safety protocols. The Nets went on to lose 123-117 in one of the more chaotic games of the season.
Durant was visibly frustrated after he was pulled for the rest of the game and tweeted, “Free me” late in the fourth quarter. He also called out the NBA in a separate tweet: “Yo @nba, your fans aren’t dumb!!!! You can’t fool em with your Wack ass PR tactics.. #FREE7.”
In early March of last year, Durant contracted COVID-19 and just a month ago, missed four games in early January due to health and safety protocols after being exposed to someone with COVID-19. Per ESPN, Durant continued registering COVID-19 antibodies in January.
At 14-10, the Nets and their threesome of Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden have played well when all are on the court. However, safety protocols and an extended Irving absence have not given the team ample time to establish consistency.