Kevin Durant would have skipped Orlando ‘bubble’ even if healthy
Durant resumed basketball activities months go, and much has been made about a potential return to the hardwood in the event the NBA finalized a return-to-play plan.
At the same time, Durant’s camp–including Kevin Durant himself–has consistently said the former league MVP would not play this year.
But even if he were fully healthy, Durant still might have skipped out on the NBA restart in Orlando. The 31-year-old said in a recent interview he likely would have sat out the remainder of the season given the recent surge in positive cases of COVID-19 in Orange County.
In 'DawgTalk101' interview, Kevin Durant said he "probably" would have skipped Orlando even if fully healthy: "The unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases. … I probably would have chilled."https://t.co/LTGd4Gw884 pic.twitter.com/tOiwzlZM9H
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) June 26, 2020
The pandemic is looking like the biggest challenge to the restart.
Wednesday marked the highest single-day total of reported cases, and things are looking especially questionable in Florida, which was one of the first states to reopen. There were 26 deaths and 354 new cases of COVID-19 in Orange County on Wednesday.
The NBA is attempting to establish a number of health and safety measures as it pertains to the “bubble.” There will also be a combination of state and federal law enforcement present, in addition to former special operations forces.
Still, the precautionary measures have not prevented some players–like Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley–from opting to sit out the remainder of the year. Durant’s teammate and Nets point guard Kyrie Irving has also been skeptical of the plan.
Durant was never going to take the floor for the Nets this year. But it seems he would have been one of the stars to sit out even if healthy, which might otherwise have a domino effect on other players throughout the league.