The week began with the Washington Wizards stopping Kevin Durant on a potential game-winning shot and continued with coronavirus halting Durant altogether.
The Brooklyn Nets’ two-time NBA Most Valuable Player will miss the next four games because of a league-mandated seven-day quarantine after he was exposed to a person with COVID-19, ESPN reported before a team announcement Tuesday. Durant tested positive for COVID in May, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not know the certainty of immunity antibodies preventing another infection.
Durant could return to action on Jan. 12, but Brooklyn cannot afford to miss him after he posted a five-game string of 25-point games that was the longest by a Net since Deron Williams in 2012.
The Nets have lost four of their past five games to fall below .500 (3-4) for the first time this season, which marked Durant’s return from a year off for an Achilles injury. He is averaging 28.2 points. 7.0 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game.
The person who Durant was exposed to was not revealed. The NBA allows for family members and close contacts to be tested regularly for coronavirus. Durant has tested negative for COVID-recently, sources told ESPN.
Six other NBA players are sidelined for NBA protocols, but this is the first loss of a star player to the health guidelines.
As the Nets have gone 1-3 to start a homestand, Durant will not be available for Brooklyn home games against Utah and Philadelphia before a trip to Memphis and another home game against Oklahoma City. Last season’s starter, Taurean Prince, could start in Durant’s place.
Welcome to coaching, Steve Nash.