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#pounditSunday, September 20, 2020

Articles tagged: Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant does not think he would have participated in NBA restart even if healthy

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant did not play this season and will not participate in the resumed NBA season in Orlando next month because he is still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during last year’s NBA Finals. But Durant believes he probably would not have played in the restart even if he were healthy.

Durant was on “Dawg Talk” for an interview published on Thursday and shared his stance.

“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 (to Orlando).

“If the guys feel safe enough to go play, that’s cool, I’m with them. 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.

“Obviously, I would have talked to my teammates and consulted with my guys and actually really went over it for the last month and a half, but me, my gut would have told me nah, I probably wouldn’t want to go down there, especially after three months off.”

Durant seemed to express two concerns in his response: coronavirus cases and the possibility of injury after an extended layoff. The latter was a concern shared by at least another prominent player. Durant was among the Brooklyn Nets players to test positive for the coronavirus in March. Another one of his Nets teammates, Kyrie Irving, expressed concerns with the restart and actually rallied against it.

Kevin Durant jabs ‘sell out’ Kendrick Perkins over social media

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant still has some hard feelings towards Kendrick Perkins.

Perkins, a former NBA center and teammate of Durant, was on ESPN’s “Get Up” Wednesday to talk about the Kyrie Irving situation. Irving has been working against the NBA’s return to Orlando.

Perkins called Irving a “distraction” over the matter.

Durant is Irving’s friend and Brooklyn Nets teammate. He called Perkins a “sell out” in an Instagram comment and retweeted a video of Perkins airballing a shot during his Oklahoma City Thunder playing days.

Perkins has become known as a hyperbolic commentator since retiring, which is part of the reason why he gets a platform for sharing his commentary. He and Durant have had other beefs play out in recent years, but Perkins said a few months ago that he wanted to resolve things with his old teammate.

Apparently things aren’t resolved between them just yet, well, not since Perkins’ comments about Irving at least.

Kevin Durant wants to own NBA team

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant has officially joined the realm of sports team owners, but he’s hoping that there’s a lot more to come.

The Brooklyn Nets star has purchased a five percent stake in MLS’s Philadelphia Union, with an option to purchase another five percent stake later. As part of the deal, the club will partner with Thirty Five Ventures, the philanthropic organization founded by Durant and business partner Rich Kleiman. That is meant to help grow the Union brand worldwide.

After the purchase was announced, Durant said that his dream is to own an NBA team, and this could be a good starting point to learning the ins and outs of ownership.

“I would love to,” Durant told Jeff Carlisle of ESPN. “[Owning an NBA team] is the goal, that’s the plan. But who knows? It’s a tough business to get into obviously. You need a lot of capital to do it. But I’m just learning the business, learning the sport, really keeping my love for the sport. I think that will lead me in the right direction. We’ll see what happens.”

Durant has always had a major interest in business matters. He’s talked about owning an NFL team too, and he even executive produces a streaming program called “The Boardroom” that focuses on sports business topics. It’s pretty clear where Durant’s ambitions are when his playing career ends.

Kevin Durant seems pumped the NBA won’t be testing for recreational drugs

Kevin Durant

The NBA has not been testing players for recreational drugs since the season was suspended, and that will continue even when play resumes in Orlando. Though he is not going to be suiting up for the Brooklyn Nets at all, Kevin Durant seems pleased about that.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that the NBA is planning to test players for performance-enhancing drug use but will not administer tests for recreational drugs. Durant came across the news on Instagram and had a reaction that wasn’t all that subtle, as he commented with a flame emoji.

NBA players will have enough rules to follow while trying to isolate at Walt Disney World, so it makes sense that recreational drug use is not at the top of the priority list for the league. Collecting drug samples also results in more close contact with people, which is something all sports leagues are trying to avoid.

In any event, Durant and other players will have some freedom they are not typically accustomed to for however long the remainder of the 2019-20 season lasts.

H/T LBS reader Wardo

Kevin Durant officially out for this season

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant officially is out for this season.

Durant did not play during the first part of the season prior to the suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was some speculation that he could return during the resumed season, but he shut down that talk.

“My season is over,” Durant told The Undefeated. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.”

Durant is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered during the NBA Finals last year. Even though he has had nearly a year of recovery, he is being patient and not pushing it.

“It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.”

Some wondered whether Durant rushed back from a calf injury to return in the NBA Finals last year and ended up tearing his Achilles tendon as a result. Whatever the case, Durant is being more cautious this year. His Brooklyn Nets teammate Kyrie Irving also will not be playing in the resumed season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.

Report: Kevin Durant buys minority ownership stake in MLS’ Philadelphia Union

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is getting into the soccer ownership business.

Durant purchased a minority stake in MLS soccer team the Philadelphia Union, according to Sports Business Daily’s Mark J. Burns. Burns reports that Durant’s stake is somewhere between 1-5 percent. It’s unclear whether he purchased the stake individually or through his Thirty Five Ventures business, which he co-founded with his manager, Rich Kleiman.

The Union were founded in 2008 and began play in MLS in 2010. They are owned primarily by Keystone Sports and Entertainment LLC.

Durant is a 10-time All-Star and was the 2013-2014 NBA MVP. His career earnings in basketball are over $190 million, and that does not include the $164 million on his Brooklyn Nets contract. He joins Russell Wilson as an athlete to own a minority stake in an MLS team (Wilson is a part-owner of the Seattle Sounders).

Nets GM: Kevin Durant looks ‘pretty damn good’

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant is not expected to play this season despite having a significant amount of additional time to recover from his his torn Achilles, but the news about his rehab continues to be all positive.

In a recent interview with a sports show in his native land of New Zealand, Nets general manager Sean Marks would not commit to when Durant might play again. However, he did say the two-time NBA Finals MVP has looked “pretty damn good” in workouts.

Durant initially had no shot at playing during the 2019-20 season, but the postponement of play has led to speculation that he could suit up if the Nets reach the playoffs. Marks fueled that speculation by leaving the door open for Durant to play this year, but Durant’s agent and business partner threw cold water on the talk last week.

The Nets would be wise to stick to the plan with Durant, which was to give him an entire season off to recover. It shouldn’t matter if that season ends two or three months later than expected, even if Kyrie Irving is also dropping hints that he is ready to return from his injury.

Brooklyn currently has the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they’re not winning a championship without a healthy Durant and Irving. Waiting for a fresh start next season is still the smart thing to do.

Rich Kleiman thinks Kevin Durant return this season is ‘unrealistic’

Kevin Durant

Will Kevin Durant play if and when the NBA season resumes? It continues to sound like a long shot at best.

Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent and business manager, said he doesn’t anticipate the Brooklyn Nets forward playing until the start of the 2020-21 season, whenever that happens.

“I don’t want to speak for him, but no,” Kleiman said, via Sam Amick and Joe Vardon of The Athletic. “It’s unrealistic. I think anyone should realize that, when you’re looking at just the circumstances and just what he’s coming back from.”

Speculation began to intensify when Nets GM Sean Marks left the door open to a Durant return before the end of the 2019-20 season. Since then, we’ve heard a lot of dissenting opinions. Durant and Kleiman are close, and Kleiman saying it’s probably not happening is probably the firmest denial we’ve gotten yet.

Several NBA stars want to resume season

Chris Paul

Several NBA stars want to resume the current season, according to a report.

Yahoo’s Chris B. Haynes reported on Tuesday that Chris Paul, who is the president of the players’ association, arranged a call with many other top players in the league to discuss the resumption of the season. Haynes says the call included LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook.

All players agreed that they wanted to resume the current season when it is safe. The belief is that the superstars all being on the same page will influence the direction of the league.

With the exception of Curry, Durant and Lillard, the players on that call mostly are on championship-contending teams, and therefore would have more incentive to resume the season. Haynes says many players not on playoff contenders feel the season should only resume with playoff teams to minimize the risk of virus exposure.

One issue some players are considering is that the next collective bargaining agreement would be negatively affected if the season were not resumed. That is a concern that was raised by one veteran player.

Kevin Durant wanted to go to North Carolina in 2006

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant spent his one year in college at Texas, but it seems his heart was set on a different destination before he made his final decision.

Durant was heavily recruited by the North Carolina Tar Heels in 2006, and Durant even took an official visit to see the Heels beat Duke. Durant’s high school roommate Ty Lawson ended up committing, and North Carolina hoped Durant would join him.

“They were recruiting me heavy with (Lawson),” Durant said, via Ross Martin of 247 Sports. “They were expecting us to come together. I am going on official visits. I went to a game where they beat Duke at the buzzer. And they won a National Championship that year, my junior year in high school. So I was like, ‘Man I want to go to Carolina.'”

Durant would have joined a loaded Carolina squad that featured the likes of Tyler Hansbrough and Danny Green. Ultimately, that helped drive him away from the school, as he feared he wouldn’t get the playing time he felt he deserved.

“They were stacked though. They had a nice senior class. They went to the Elite Eight that year,” Durant said. “Tyler Hansbrough was there. Danny Green. All those dudes. So I would have gotten kind of lost. Not lost. Not lost, but I would have been playing 25 minutes instead of 40 minutes like I should have been playing.”

Durant starred for a year at Texas, became the No. 2 pick in the draft, and has since become a league MVP. He also very much took to his eventual college home. Putting him at North Carolina would have been tantalizing, and he may have helped them win a title, but things worked out for him in the long term.