Brooklyn Nets forward and two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant has already noted he will not return to the court this season. Signed as a free agent last summer, Durant suffered a torn Achilles during the 2019 NBA Finals. Even with the season having been suspended for four months, he does not want to risk further injury.
Now comes this piece of information from Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports.
Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant — who is continuing rehab on his Achilles — will not accompany the team to Orlando for the season resumption, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2020
The 2019-20 season is expected to start up again on July 30. Having already battled COVID-19, Durant’s absence in Orlando can’t be seen as a big surprise. The future Hall of Famer had previously noted that even if he were healthy, he likely wouldn’t take part in the reboot.
We’ve already seen multiple able-bodied individuals opt out of returning to the season at Walt Disney World in Orlando. NBA commissioner Adam Silver previously gave players the ability to opt out. Some have decided on that path.
It was just last week that 16 players tested positive for COVID-19. That came after north of 300 players were tested. It also comes with the state of Florida being one of the world-wide epicenters of the pandemic.
The 2019-20 season will resume in exactly a month. Each of the 22 teams returning to Orlando will play eight regular-season games before the playoffs start. Whether this actually happens depends heavily on the raging pandemic in the United States.