Boston Celtics

Sep 27, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

98.5 The Sports Hub staff report

The COVID-19 pandemic, which paused the NBA season on Mar. 11 and has set the league up for a late-summer return, could have presented a potentially championship-level risk and/or opportunity to Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets.

A year removed from the torn Achilles he suffered in Golden State’s 2019 NBA Finals loss to the Toronto Raptors, a summertime return would have seemingly opened the door for Durant, one of Brooklyn’s star free agent adds last summer, to return to play.

But it’s a risk/opportunity that the 31-year-old confirmed he will not take when the season shifts to Disney World come July.

“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’s decision to remain on the sidelines comes with Kyrie Irving already done for the season due to shoulder surgery back in March (before the NBA suspended play), and with the Nets sitting in the seventh seed in the East ahead of an eight-game finish to the regular season. It also comes with Durant’s long-term interests in mind.

“It’s just best for me to wait,” said Durant. “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.”

Nevertheless, Durant may have an interest in following Kyrie’s lead and joining the Nets in Orlando to show his support.

“That is a decision we are still making,” Durant said of potentially joining his Brooklyn teammates in a quarantined Orlando. “I still got some time to make it. As of right now, I am enjoying the [rehab] routine I am on.”

If that happens, it’s worth noting that the duo will likely be looking to ham it up with the other star talents trapped down there, as it’s believed that the Nets are still one more piece away from assembling their own “superteam” in Brooklyn.

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