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Kevin Durant’s first game with his new Nets team will come on Opening Night against his old Warriors team. It will come 561 days since the last time he took the court in an NBA game.
Now on Dec. 22, Durant officially returns to the court against his former team in Brooklyn, unsure exactly when – or if – he’ll be his old dominant self.
“Who knows?” Durant asked rhetorically. “I just got to see how I feel in a real NBA game again.”
That game will be on TNT, with the entire basketball world watching.
The tentative schedule for the NBA’s opening night has Durant and Brooklyn tipping off a TNT doubleheader. LeBron James and the defending champion Lakers follow against the rival Clippers in Los Angeles, according to the Athletic, in a potential Western Conference Finals preview that many had expected to see this past campaign.
Durant and Kyrie Irving both joined the Nets in the summer of 2019. But Durant missed all of last season with an Achilles rupture suffered while playing for the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals, while Irving was limited to just 20 games before a season-ending shoulder surgery.
Durant will be debuting against his old Warriors teammates, including Draymond Green, whose high-profile spat with Durant hastened the 32-year-old superstar’s move from Golden State to Brooklyn. Then three days later on Christmas, Irving will make his first regular-season trip to Boston since his scrutinized divorce from the Celtics.
Despite Durant having been injured all of last season, he was expected to be honored when the Nets visited Golden State on March 12 if he had made the trip out west. That game was expected to be the first without fans due to COVID-19, but eventually got cancelled and the season suspended the night before.
“Last year wasn’t that frustrating to me to be honest. I enjoyed having some me time away from a lot of y’all and NBA life in general,” Durant said about his time rehabbing away from the media.
But now he’ll be back in the fishbowl right from Opening Night.
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