Several NBA players, ranging from Davis Bertans to Avery Bradley and Willie Cauley-Stein, will not be heading to the Orlando bubble, even as key members of teams vying for postseason glory. While some player absences were expected, the discussion continues on whether the league should press on in its plans and, with that in mind, a (very) prominent member of the NBA community voiced his skeptical opinion this week.
In a podcast interview with DawgTalk101 (h/t Ben Golliver), superstar forward Kevin Durant said he “probably” would not have made the trip to Orlando along with the Brooklyn Nets, even if he was at 100 percent health after his Achilles surgery.
“I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn’t have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases,” Durant said. “It’s just so unpredictable. It’s easy for me to say right now because I’m injured, but I probably wouldn’t have went down there.”
Durant tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-March, giving him firsthand experience that many players do not have at this juncture. From there, Durant did support players if they choose to play in Orlando.
“If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that’s cool, I’m with them,” said Durant. “If they don’t feel like they should go down there and play or don’t feel safe, I’m with them too. I’m all about what the group wants. If it’s good for the betterment of the whole group, then I’m cool with it.”
Later, Durant said he “probably would have chilled,” also citing the three-month layoff in between the last NBA games and the projected arrival in Orlando. In an overall sense, it is far from surprising that any player would say they did not want to make the trip. Still, Durant is one of the more high-profile players in the league and, while the Nets probably wouldn’t make a run to the title even if he was playing, it is more than noteworthy that a player of Durant’s caliber would express this sentiment on the record.