Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
It's still unclear if Kevin Durant will play this season or if he'll sit it out the entire year while rehabbing from Achilles surgery.
Durant said in an interview with Yahoo Sports last month that he hasn't ruled out the possibility of playing in 2019-20. He again left open the possibility of playing this season in an interview over the weekend with Chris Henderson.
The interview, published on YouTube, was focused mostly on music, sneakers and video games (Definitely worth checking out if you're interested in those topics/seeing an NBA star in a relaxed setting). Durant also talked briefly about the Nets.
"I'm excited about this group. Obviously, with me not starting off the season and obviously being injured, you're going to see a lot of guys step up and do some things and go to another level as a player," the two-time Finals MVP said. "Caris [LeVert], Joe Harris, Taurean Prince. Even the older guys like Garrett Temple, Kyrie [Irving], DeAndre [Jordan]. I feel like everybody in this environment is going to step up another level, especially due to circumstances with me not being available. I think everybody's going to step up and take it to the next level. We got great coaching, great front office, great fanbase that's excited for something new. This is a fresh start for everybody I feel."
By saying that he won't start off the season with the Nets, Durant again doesn't rule himself out for the entire year. It will be interesting to see if he and the Nets leave open the possibility of him playing this season when they address the media later this month.
Durant underwent surgery to repair a right Achilles tear in mid June. Some surgeons believe he could return in 10 months, while others expect him to miss the entire season.
As Durant notes, the Nets have plenty of depth to offset his absence. They return most of the young core of a team that won 42 games last season and added Irving. So they should be able to compete in the East in 2019-20 even if Durant decides to sit for the entire season.
Durant also was asked in the interview about his thoughts on Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis and the Dallas Mavericks.
Durant, who was pursued by Porzingis' ex-club, the Knicks, was effusive in his praise of the young Mavs.
"I think (Doncic) was raised in a basketball environment that taught him how to play the ins and outs of the game. You don't see guys at that age who can manipulate the game the way he does," Durant said. "He can control the full game at (a young) age, which is rare. I'm expecting huge things from him going forward and a superstar career going forward.
"As far as KP, his name says it all. His nickname being the unicorn. A guy that can do so many things at that height and that agility. I'm looking forward to seeing those two come together. I think they've got something going down there. Mark Cuban is always going to support his guys and put them in the best position so that's a franchise I'll definitely be watching over the next couple of years."
It would be misleading to view these comments from Durant as some kind of shot at the Knicks, who traded Porzingis last February, in part, to create enough cap space to sign Durant and another star. Durant was simply asked a question by Henderson and he answered it honestly.