Brooklyn Nets: KD makes it official, says he won’t play at all this year

Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

It was the best offseason in Brooklyn Nets history. They signed both Kyrie Irving and the NBA’s best player Kevin Durant as free agents. While Irving’s season is in doubt, Durant confirmed he won’t play in 2019-20.

After the Brooklyn Nets signed the daily double of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last summer, their fans started dreaming of a championship. It was probably a pipe dream that they could make a run this season, but there was hope. Many felt that if the Nets could make it to the postseason, KD would come back from his torn Achilles injury and help them in playoffs.

While there is still a good chance for the first part to happen, despite Irving’s shoulder injury, Durant confirmed in an interview with Bleacher Report that he will not dress out for the Brooklyn Nets at all this season. He is preparing himself for 2020-21.

When asked by B/R’s Taylor Rooks if he was coming back this season, Durant said, No, the best thing for me is to continue to rehab, get as strong as I can and focus on next season.”

It was unrealistic to think KD could make it back this season. Doctors have been able to perform miracles on what used to be career-threatening injuries such as torn knee ligaments or rotator cuffs. The Achillies is still one area that in addition to surgery needs a long time to heal and strengthen. For all his heroics and off the charts ability, Durant is still human.

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To be honest, taking 2019-20 off is the best thing for both KD and the Brooklyn Nets. While 80 percent of fully healthy Kevin Durant is better than three-quarters of the league, there is no need for him to rush back. 95 percent of the old KD in 2020-21 works better for the team. That appears to be his focus as well.

At this point, Brooklyn looks like they will make the playoffs as either the seventh or eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They don’t own their 2020 first-round draft pick so whether or not they improve or fall off from their current perch of 16th doesn’t matter. It’s not like throwing in the towel, helps them get a better pick anyway.

Recent reports indicate Irving’s first season with the Brooklyn Nets is likely over, due to a shoulder injury. Coach Kenny Atkinson can devote the remainder of this year to getting the rest of his team acclimated to playing meaningful late-season and playoff games.

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With Durant and Irving in the fold next season, the experience everyone else gets down the stretch this spring will be greatly needed for what looks to be a contending 2020-21 season.