Steve Nash knows what peak Kevin Durant looks like. He competed against him at the end of his career and worked with KD as a Warriors consultant . So how would Nash gauge where his superstar’s at after two preseason games ... and more than 500 days of recovery and rehabilitation?
After at first saying he didn’t want to put a percentage on where Durant is compared to his peak form, Nash went for it.
“It’s tough but he’s in the 90s, whether it’s 90, or 99, I don’t know.” Nash told NetsDaily and some 20 other media reps Sunday. “He looks great, but I think there’s no way to finalize what he is, who he is post-injury without playing NBA games.”
How long before KD is the old KD? Not long.
“I keep telling him he’s got to give himself 15 games before he starts judging himself,” said Nash. “He’s gotta give himself 15-20 games to judge himself. There’s no way to finalize what he is, who he is, without playing NBA games. You can’t recreate it; you can’t simulate it. I think he’s going to be 100% Kevin Durant.”
Durant himself was asked post-game Friday if he was back to 100 percent — this following a game where he scored 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting (2-of-5 from deep), grabbed six boards, dropped two assists and blocked three shots.
“Nah, I feel that’s going to come over time,” said Durant said of getting back to where he was before he ruptured his Achilles. “I mean. I was out for 18 months. not playing any NBA games playing against the physiciality, the speed of the game,
“So, It’s going to take me some time to get my feet up under me, my legs. but having like we have, those guys support me every time I get on the court. they put me in great position to be successful. We just playing off each other. So we continue to do that and this will a smooth ride till I get back in the swing of things.”
So, what drives him, Coach?
“He just loves basketball. Loves the game,” said Nash, emphasizing the “love.” “Great passion for refining his skill set, his craft every day, competitive, and winning - he’s here every day working on his game and his craft...
“He’s just a joy to coach and to watch with someone that gifted,” Nash said. “Part of it’s gifted, but also he has the discipline to do it day after day, hour after hour. He never takes a day off or never skips an opportunity to get better. So that’s the hallmark of why he’s one of the all-time greats.”
The team he faces on Tuesday might well be the best judges of KD’s return. The Nets will face the Warriors on national TV Tuesday.
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