NBA 2020-21: Kevin Durant “is taking it a day at a time” as Brooklyn Nets open training camp

NBA 2020-21: Kevin Durant suffered a torn Achilles, signed with the Brooklyn Nets, and endured a long rehabilitation period. He is finally ready to play for the Brooklyn Nets.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his first “training camp workout” on Tuesday was an individual one.

The journey from tearing his Achilles in June 2019 to being prepared to play in the 72-game 2020-21 season has been a long one.

I feel good playing,” Durant said. “I am just taking it a day at a time.

I have been through surgeries and injuries before,” he said in a virtual interview on Tuesday, “but the longest recovery was three months. The first phase of the Achilles [recovery] was three months. You can’t walk around, you have to use a scooter.

Durant and Kyrie Irving had season-ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in March and did not join their Nets teammates in the bubble. Durant said that he and Irving worked out together at times, mostly in Los Angeles.

Kevin Durant also spent part of his offseason working out with Washington Wizards guard John Wall, who he said looks “amazing.”

John Wall originally hurt his left heel during the 2018-19 season and underwent surgery, then injured his Achilles during his rehabilitation, and was out for the entirety of 2019-20.

NBA news: How strong will the Nets be with Kevin Durant?

First-year head coach Steve Nash said that he does not have specific load management plans yet for Irving and Durant, but indicated it is doubtful they play in all 72 games in the NBA schedule.

The Nets have strong players in Jarred Allan, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Cris LeVert. With Kyrie and Kevin back, the Nets will definitely make the playoffs this season. The Brooklyn Nets look strong with the two stars and Steve Nash as the coach.

I’ve worked as hard as I could,” Durant said. “I’ve been in the league 14 years; even if I didn’t have an Achilles, I wouldn’t be at 100%. It’s just wear and tear over time. [But] I feel solid.

He added that he can’t play timid in the hopes of protecting the leg he injured over a year ago.

I just try to play and not worry about it,” he said. “Sometimes you tend to focus too much on not getting injured and you probably go out there and get injured. So, I try to go as hard as I can and live with the results.

Achilles tears are particularly challenging for players to recover from. Durant is trying to control expectations, holding short of promising that he will be the MVP-caliber talent he was before the injury.

Who knows,” he said, of how close he could be to that pre-injury version of himself. “I just got to see how I feel in a real NBA game.

In just 12 days, he will get to feel it out. On Dec. 13, the preseason begins for Durant and the Nets.

NBA news: The tentative NBA schedule calendar for the 2020-21 season:

 • Dec. 11-19, 2020: Preseason games

 • Dec. 22, 2020 – March 4, 2021: First Half of regular season

 • March 5-10, 2021: All-Star break

 • March 11 – May 16, 2021: Second Half of regular season

 • May 18-21, 2021: Play-In Tournament

 • May 22 – July 22, 2021: 2021 NBA Playoffs