Kevin Durant’s campaign to supplant LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers from the NBA throne has gotten off to a very rocky beginning.
Durant, 32, has been ordered into isolation, per NBA protocol, after being exposed to someone who contracted the novel coronavirus, according to CBS Sports. Contact tracing was able to determine that an unidentified affected person was in proximity to Durant very recently. As a result, Durant is required to be sequestered for the next seven days, translating into four missed games.
The Athletic states the earliest KD can get back to the court is Jan. 12 against the Denver Nuggets. Durant was already one of the first athletes to contract COVID-19 in the spring of 2020, but quickly recovered from minor symptoms.
The current news comes as the Brooklyn Nets are on a sharp decline after their sterling beginning. They blew out their opponents right off the rip, trouncing the Celtics by 28 and mauling the Golden State Warriors by 36.
But after that torrid start, triggering widespread predictions of an NBA Finals appearance from sports pundits, they have lost four of their last five. This includes one noticeable defeat in which Durant and teammate Kyrie Irving missed last-second shots that could have won a game against the Washington Wizards.
Moreover, Durant’s irreplaceable teammate, Spencer Dinwiddie, is already lost for the season after tearing the ACL in his knee. The Nets currently rank in the lower half of the NBA in both defense (19th) and shooting (25th), so the lack of Durant’s 28.2 points per game and shot-blocking abilities will only further complicate things for the Nets in the next week.