Kevin Durant told ESPN’s The Undefeated on Friday that he will not debut for the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019-20 NBA season after it restarts next month.
Durant has not played since he tore his Achilles tendon last June 11 during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals while playing for the Golden State Warriors versus the Toronto Raptors.
The two-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player will be a year removed from the injury when the Nets return to action on July 31 in Orlando, Florida, in a 2019-20 season pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although Durant said he feels much improved and is training in Los Angeles, the forward also said he is not physically ready to return this season.
“It’s just best for me to wait,” Durant stated. “I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.
“My season is over. I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”
Durant said he is unclear about whether he will join the Nets in Orlando.
The 10-time All-Star said he has been very comfortable rehabilitating without pressure in Los Angeles. Now 31 years old, Durant appears to be much more patient and intent on not rushing his return, like he did with past injuries with the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder. T
he 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player signed a four-year, $164 million contract with the Nets last summer after leaving the Warriors as a free agent.