As Brian Lewis reports Sunday morning, the Nets went to extraordinary means Saturday to keep Kevin Durant’s progress a secret...
The Nets closed down Barclays Center’s bowl around 1 p.m. so KD could work out privately with a trainer on the Nets court. It was described as “agility work.” Lewis noted ...
Durant has worked out before games before, but it’s usually at HSS Training Center, or on the small practice court at Barclays. Today the #Nets closed off the bowl & let him go on the main court. When I asked him if he had a good workout, he just smiled & said “Yes, sir! Yes, sir!”
No word on whether he shot around on the Barclays Center buckets, checked out the sight lines.
Does that mean there’s a possibility that Durant could return and save the Nets season? Kenny Atkinson made it clear pre-game that, no, the Nets and Durant remain on “same page.” He’s not playing.
“No, we’re all on the same page. That’s not going to happen,” Atkinson said. “Progressing. I don’t have my medical book up here, I can’t give you what stage or any of that. It’s great when you’re there every day. You see incremental progress.”
“He’s progressing. I know he’s working extremely hard,” Atkinson said. “We don’t want to bother him too much because he’s locked into his rehab. He’s a guy who likes to work in the shadows. He doesn’t want all the attention, but he’s working his tail off.”
The head coach said just Durant’s presence inspires his teammates.
“When he walks in the room, we all become more confident even though he’s not playing. It’s just that way. I enjoy talking to him about the game and his opinions about what’s going on in the league. … It’s a real treat for me to have a guy like that around and for our players. They love it. He’s around all the time, so it’s great.”
Kyrie Irving spoke to the same issue, on a personal note. Durant, who he’s referred to as the “sleeping monster,” and I talk about their goals and the team’s future regularly.
The most important thing is we have the same intent, we have the same goal, and that’s to win a championship here together. When I say together, I meant the whole entire group — just so everyone knows, make it clear,” Irving said before laughing, an allusion to his comments after the loss to the 76ers.
“We also bring up the future and how we can implement each other, where he sees he can be implemented when he’s healthy and how he’s feeling. It’s those best friend conversations you want to have with a guy that loves the game as much as I do. He probably loves it a little bit more than I do, honestly. Like, he’s next level, man, honestly.”
Durant of course underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon last June. Normal recovery and rehab take about nine months.
- Kevin Durant’s eye-opening progress comes with somber Nets reminder - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets reaffirm: Kevin Durant won’t be back this season - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Durant inspires Nets as rehab progresses, Atkinson says - Greg Logan - Newsday