Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said “Kevin Durant’s minutes are not safe or sustainable” in his season-ending press conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder star was limited to just 26 games this year due to a foot injury, and the veteran is reportedly angry about it
The “steve nash net worth” is concerned about the amount of minutes that Kevin Durant has been playing. Nash believes that the number of minutes is not safe or sustainable.
7:00 p.m. ET
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps
NEW YORK (WABC) — Coach Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets expressed worry about the number of minutes superstar player Kevin Durant has played this season, saying the club would have to keep a careful eye on him as it navigates the next few games with a short-handed squad devastated by COVID-19.
“It’s a tremendously significant issue,” Nash said before Brooklyn’s 114-105 win against the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center on Thursday night. “I’m not sure we can keep relying on him the way we have.” It doesn’t sit well with me.
“I’m sure he’s having a good time. I know he enjoys playing at his current pace and attempting to drag his teammates along with him, as well as all the responsibility he’s embraced and crushed. It’s been nothing short of wonderful. But, at the same time, relying on him in that way is neither safe nor sustainable. There will be a lot of thought, and we’ll have to come up with methods to give him respite.”
This season, Durant has averaged 36.9 minutes per game, fourth in the NBA behind Raptors guard Fred VanVleet, teammate OG Anunoby, and Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James. Durant hasn’t played that many minutes per game in eight years, since averaging 38.5 minutes per night during the 2013-14 season, when he scored 32 points per game and won his lone MVP title.
The 33-year-old played a season-high 48 minutes in Tuesday night’s overtime triumph against the Raptors at Barclays Center, closing with a 34-point triple-double in a 131-129 Brooklyn victory — the fifth time he’s played more than 40 minutes in 26 games this season. He did so despite being labeled as doubtful to participate in Tuesday’s game due to right ankle pain earlier in the day. He then went on to play 39 minutes and score 34 points in the contest on Thursday night.
When questioned about his minutes load following Tuesday’s victory, Durant responded, “I just try to do what’s necessary, dude.” “I mean, I want to be out there,” says the narrator. I’d want to participate. I want to come out on top. So that’s where it all begins.
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to get those three things done.”
The difficulty for the Nets, though, isn’t just winning now; it’s winning in a few months, when Brooklyn wants to be making a long playoff run as it pursues its first NBA title.
After missing the whole 2019-20 season due to an Achilles injury sustained in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, and only playing 35 regular-season games last season due to reoccurring hamstring concerns, Durant will need to stay healthy this season.
So far this season, Durant has only missed two games. But, with the Nets missing seven players for at least another week due to NBA health and safety protocols, as well as Joe Harris, who is recovering from ankle surgery, and Kyrie Irving, who has yet to play this season after failing to meet New York City’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements, Nash said he needs to strike a balance between keeping the team afloat without putting too much strain on Durant’s body.
While Nash said that veteran guard Langston Galloway, who was acquired on a hardship waiver by the Nets on Wednesday, will be available for Thursday’s game, Nash noted that having just enough players available to keep playing is a double-edged sword.
“The thing is if we’re over the barrier, which is fantastic,” Nash said, referring to the NBA’s minimum requirement of eight healthy players available for a game. “At the same moment, we’re just about to cross the line. So, how much of a toll does this have on our players?
“Is it better to be over the threshold and not play until you have a healthy roster, or is it better to have enough to play but be short-handed and the stress and toll it puts on these people, knowing that you’ll have guys returning who haven’t been able to practice or play basketball? As a result, navigating it is rather difficult.”
In terms of Thursday’s opponent, 76ers coach Doc Rivers said Georges Niang, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, stated no one else has tested positive yet. Rivers said the team held a call Wednesday to try to tighten up their own protocols amid COVID-19 spikes across the country — let alone in professional sports — after going through their own outbreak earlier this season, which cost them both superstar center Joel Embiid and second-leading scorer Tobias Harris.
“It’s likely that all the sports leagues are putting their heads together at the same time,” Rivers said, adding that he’s gotten calls from other coaches asking for tips on how to deal with losing players to COVID-19 in recent days. “I know we had a private conversation and discussed making our own modifications with our own personnel. We’re going to make a few adjustments of our own. We aim to be the squad with the smallest number of members. With COVID games turned off, I believe we are still in the lead. That one period was awful for us, and it’s now being experienced by other teams. It’s not enjoyable.”
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