One day after his coach, Kenny Aktinson, told reporters that Kevin Durant is “progressing fantastically,” his manager and agent, Rich Kleiman, was asked by Michael Kay if he thought the 10-time All-Star, would return this season.
““I don’t know, I’m not planning on it. Honestly, this is one of those things as a fan I would’ve thought the same thing, that there was this calendar in front of us and we were all having these powwows. He’s just attacking his rehab like he attacks everything else. I can see how intense he is about his recovery and his rehab, and I don’t want to disturb that.
“And it’s truly been day-to-day, because there’s no expectation on him from anybody, there’s been no pressure on him from anybody, there’s no expectation on himself. He’s just truly taking it day-to-day. And I think after what happened and all the pressure around the summer and the situation, he should take it day-to-day and he should just work.”
The comments, by Kleiman who runs Thirty-Five Ventures for KD, echo Atkinson in terms of Durant’s mindset and progress if not predictions.
“Talking to him, talking to the performance team, came in and watched him yesterday do his exercises. You guys can probably see he’s moving a lot better, moving a lot more. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and get people mad at me for giving you more than that.”
But Atkinson also said when asked about a return in the next few months, “I don’t think there’s been any thought there.” Back in September, Sean Marks said the “expectation” is that Durant would not play this season.
Still, this has to be considered good news for Brooklyn following a series of injuries that have put the Nets four games under .500 and in a seven-game losing streak. Indeed, Nets fans have been whip-sawed by a roller-coaster of often contradictory news about the recoveries of KD, Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert.
Meanwhile, Atkinson has this to say about Irving’s possible return to action: “I’m pleased with how we’re progressing.”
He added that Irving’s shoulder responded well to playing 5-on-5 for the first time yesterday. He’ll go through another 5-on-5 Saturday and be evaluated after that.
Durant of course, is rehabbing from an Achilles injury he suffered in last year’s Finals. The orthopedist, Dr. Martin O’Malley performed the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York on June 12. The typical timeline for an athlete who suffers an Achilles injury is nine months. But every injury, every surgery, every recovery is different.
As we wrote last week, quoting a league source...
In addition to having sports best ankle-and-foot guy as his (and their) surgeon, the rupture was high on his Achilles where the blood circulation is good and healing is more rapid and complete. He has both the Nets vaunted rehab staff and his own working with him.
Also in the Michael Kay interview, Kleiman said Durant and Kyrie Irving “shared information” before deciding on whether they would join forces and where to play.
“The two of them are friends. The two of them wanted to play together. And the two of them shared information they had and that was prorpietary to them.”
“Kyrie played a part in that they’re friends and communicated. I think ultimately if it wasn’t the right decision for any of one of them individually they weren’t going to go somewhere because of the other person, I think that all of these things play a part in a decision. There is no one thing.”
“They spoke about that together, because there’s a certain connection, a bond the two of them as basketball players can understand.”
Kleiman said he had recommended to Durant that he go to the Knicks, but KD had no interest in New York.
Here’s an excerpt. The former RocNation agent also shared his thoughts about Durant’s Twitter wars the last two nights, including last night’s with former teammate Kendrick Perkins...
Watch this space for more updates. Thanks for @Mr_Jose_82 and @ChrisLavinio for watching the interview.
- Kevin Durant’s friend doesn’t rule out star’s return this season - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Kevin Durant’s agent addresses decision to spurn Knicks and calls out Kendrick Perkins - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News