For one, Durant is returning to the Nets’ lineup after having to sit down out the staff’s final three video games as a result of league’s contact tracing protocols. But it surely’s additionally Durant’s first recreation again in Golden State, and whereas it might not be the identical enviornment that Durant performed in, he’s nonetheless returning to California to play in opposition to the staff he helped win two NBA titles with throughout his three-year run.
Nets head coach Steve Nash was requested previous to the sport if this one does in truth imply extra for Durant, and Nash mentioned that he believes that to be the case, even when Durant hasn’t centered a lot on that side of it.
“I believe it does imply one thing to him, however he hasn’t proven it. We haven’t talked about it,” Nash mentioned. “If there’s ever a comeback recreation that’s lower than what it could have been in a traditional state of affairs like this one, the place we’ve got no followers, it’s getting nearer to 2 years since his final recreation right here, so it’s not going to have the identical rawness that typically these video games can current, however I nonetheless suppose it means one thing to him.
“I believe he has lots of nice reminiscences and essential relationships from his time right here.”
Durant signed with the Warriors following the 2015-16 season, becoming a member of an already loaded Warriors staff that had been to the NBA Finals in every of the earlier two years earlier than his arrival, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015.
However Durant’s presence took the Warriors to a fair greater stage, as he helped them win two straight titles, averaging 25.7 factors, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists throughout these first two seasons. His time in Golden State ended on a tough be aware, in fact, as Durant ruptured his Achilles in Recreation 5 of the NBA Finals in opposition to Toronto.
The ten-time All-Star and four-time scoring champ went on to signal with the Nets, and as Nash mentioned, has put in as a lot work as doable via his rehab and eventual return to the court docket.
“He did all of the laborious work,” Nash mentioned. “He had a great stretch of time due to the pandemic and the late begin to the season to not rush it again. He had type of a grace interval to adapt after therapeutic… He’s on the forefront of what’s doable, and it’s simply now about being sustainable.”
Durant makes his return to the court docket for Brooklyn as they tackle the Warriors Saturday night time at 8:30 p.m.