Shortly after the Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that four players had tested positive for the coronavirus, Kevin Durant said he was one of the four.
While the team did not identify the players in a news release, Durant spoke with The Athletic, saying he feels fine. “Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this.”
Brooklyn’s announcement brings the NBA’s publicly known cases of players who have tested positive for coronavirus to seven. Utah’s Rudy Gobert was the first last week, which led the NBA to suspend the 2019-20 season. Gobert’s teammate Donovan Mitchell and Detroit’s Christian Wood also tested positive last week.
The Nets have not played the Jazz or Pistons recently and have not played teams who have played the Jazz or Pistons since late February.
“The organization is currently notifying anyone who has had contact with the players, including recent opponents, and is working closely with state and local health authorities on reporting,” the Nets said in a statement. “All players and members of the Nets travel party are asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff.”
Durant has been out all season while recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered in last year’s NBA Finals.
The Nets’ previous four games were against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 10, Chicago Bulls on March 8, San Antonio Spurs on March 6 and Memphis Grizzlies on March 4.
The Nets initially welcomed Durant traveling with the team so he could support his teammates behind the scenes. Durant traveled with the Nets last week for their game against the Lakers.
Durant did not plan to travel with the Nets for their game behind closed doors against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center. Even though the Warriors planned to play a tribute video for Durant, who helped them win two NBA championships in three Finals appearances.
That game was shelved when the NBA shut down after Gobert tested positive a day before the teams were scheduled to play.
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Durant sat on the Nets’ bench during their win against the Lakers at Staples Center and cheered throughout the game.
When guard Spencer Dinwiddie made an 18-foot jumper to give the Nets a 104-102 lead with 28.4 seconds left, Durant approached him on the court and high-fived him. When officials rewarded the Lakers the ball after it went out of bounds with 5.8 seconds left, Durant talked with guard Caris LeVert about the final play. Throughout the game, Durant often sat next to center DeAndre Jordan and shared on-court observations. During morning shootaround, Nets interim coach Jacque Vaughn said Durant talked with him about the varying approaches defenders have taken in trying to guard him.
Durant has remained selective with his itinerary while rehabbing. Otherwise, the Nets said Durant has mostly remained at the team’s facility for treatment.
Mark Medina reported from Los Angeles.