Life has come a full circle for Kevin Durant. The last time he played in the NBA was in Game 5 of the 2018-19 NBA Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
Fast forward 18 months and the 32-year old is back from the Achilles’ tendon injury and will face the Warriors on the opening night of the 2020-21 season wearing the Brooklyn Nets’ jersey on December 23.
The two-time NBA champion says he has tried to be the best version of himself while returning to on-court action.
“Every drill that I’ve done, I’ve been going as hard as I could. I’ve been in the league for 14 years. Even if I didn’t have an Achilles’, I probably wouldn’t be 100 per cent. So the wear and tear over time, I guess, but I feel solid,” Durant said while speaking to reporters as per an NBA release.
Achilles tendon injuries can be exhausting to come back from, but Durant didn’t let the long road back to recovery get to him. “It actually wasn’t that frustrating, to be honest. I enjoyed having a lot of ‘me time’ away from you all and the NBA life in general,” said Durant.
Before the injury stopped him in tracks, the 32-year-old was one of the most feared basketball players in the world, winning two titles with the Warriors and the Finals MVP in both the championship runs. A few years before getting his championship rings, Durant had already established his credentials winning the League MVP in 2014 playing for Oklahoma City Thunder.
When asked if he was back to his MVP form, he shrugged off the question saying he was feeling good playing the sport and not thinking about the awards at the moment. But Durant admitted he would find it difficult to be judicious coming at the back of a long injury layoff.
“I enjoy playing an if and when coach tries to pull me out early unexpectedly, of course, I’m going to push back, but I know they have my best interest,” the Nets superstar said.