After a confusing night of Brooklyn Nets star status Kevin Durant At the Barclays Center – where he was taken off line for foreplay and third quarter contact tracing logs – Durant won’t travel to Philadelphia on Saturday and could be lost for a second time in multiple games a month, sources tell ESPN.
Durant had come into contact on Friday with an employee who tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday night, just hours after returning an inconclusive test shortly before the Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors.
That inspired an extremely dramatic scene in the third quarter: a Nets official informed Durant he had to leave the bank to isolate himself, which resulted in a nervous franchise star stomping into the bowels of Barclays, where he was believed to be tweeting : “Free Me”. in the final minutes of the game.
The networks notified the league office on Friday afternoon of the individual’s inconclusive test and were eventually directed to pull Durant out of the pre-game warm-up. Sean Marks, general manager of Nets, had phoned the league office and informed the court.
Moments later, Steve Nash and his coaching staff realized that Durant would not be available to start the game.
Durant left the floor before the game, only to break free from the NBA and return to the bench shortly after the first quarter began.
“Durant was originally excluded from the game while this result was being reviewed,” the league’s statement said. “According to the league’s health and safety protocols, a player does not need to be quarantined until close contact has a confirmed positive test.”
Before Durant left the field for the last time in the third quarter, he sat on the bench while officials discussed a play in which he picked up his fifth foul of the evening. The foul was set aside, but Durant never checked in again.
When the timeout ended, a team official told Durant that he could not continue the game. Durant shook his head in frustration. As he went back through the tunnel, Durant threw his water bottle.
Durant, who played 19 minutes in the game, continued to tweet on Friday night after the game. Questioning the timeline and details of the league.
On the heels of the NBA stars Lebron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo When the NBA and NBPA’s plans for an all-star game in Atlanta were ridiculed on March 7, a sense of superstar revolt emerged late in the week.
“I don’t understand the whole thing where he couldn’t play, then he came on the court, then they took him back,” Nets guarded James Harden said. “It’s just busy. It’s too busy. It’s overwhelming. We are in the middle of a tough game and these games are going to add up, especially when we talk about playoff seeding. It’s overwhelming. It’s frustrating. “
“”[Durant] feels the same way. Especially when he already has it and we are tested every day. He was negative. So I don’t understand what the problem is. I think the game should have been postponed. When we talk about contact tracing. He was around us all. So I don’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to play, then was allowed to play and then was taken back from the pitch. If that were the case, we should have postponed the game. “
Durant fell ill with the coronavirus in March and still had those antibodies in early January when he was lost to contact tracing for four games. Four weeks later, Durant could be lost for a similar six-day stretch, sources said.
After Friday’s game, Nash said he was struggling at times to divide Durant’s absence during the game.
“I was probably a little distracted thinking about what it would mean to our team in the long term,” said Nash. “We’ve played guys for a long time and if Kevin doesn’t play, are we going to let the rest of the guys run for too many minutes? So maybe I’ve distracted myself a little from the big picture.”
The Nets have street games on Saturday (Philadelphia) and Tuesday (Detroit), and return home on Wednesday (Indiana). The nets start a west coast trip against Golden State next Saturday.