Kevin Durant was in the starting line-up, then he wasn’t, then he played in the game until he got pulled for good, all in a night’s work.
The NBA decided to remove Durant “out of an abundance of caution,” after the superstar forward had contact with someone who tested positive for the virus after initially testing inconclusive.
Durant, however, did not take kindly to the NBA’s handling of the situation. After the game, he took to Twitter and said, “free me.”
Durant then accused the league of decision-making based on “Wack ass PR tactics.”
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 6, 2021
As the New York Post reports:
Durant had COVID-19 in May, after the 2019-20 NBA season had been suspended, but before either the resumption of play at the NBA bubble or his return from Achilles surgery.
Last month, Durant ended up having to observe a seven-day quarantine and miss three straight games — against the Jazz and 76ers and at the Grizzlies — due to exposure to someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.
Durant will not make the Nets road game against Philadelphia, according to ESPN.
“Durant himself didn’t get another COVID-19 test,” the Post reports. “There were additional tests for whomever he came in contact with, along with clarifying the contact-tracing procedures for this instance with the NBA. The league eventually made the call and determined Durant was cleared to play, and he checked into the game by replacing James Harden with 4:13 left in the first quarter and the Nets down, 26-17. Brooklyn ended up losing 123-117.”
Durant actually tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. However, NBA Covid protocols do not distinguish between players who antibodies and those that don’t.