With Kevin Durant potentially having an interest in playing in the Olympics this summer, should fans of the Brooklyn Nets be concerned?
On ESPN’s First Take Monday morning, media personality Stephen A. Smith was rather animated in his displeasure when discussing if Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant should lace up his signature sneakers for Team USA in this summer’s Olympics.
Durant’s business partner, Rich Kleiman, was the first to break the news of his interest in representing his country this summer to the Washington Post. So the question now is: Should fans of the franchise share the same testament regarding the topic?
Well, the immediate response would be a glaring no, not really.
One could make the argument that the first time Durant should take the floor is with his teammates on the Nets come opening night of the 2020/21 NBA season, but would you not want him to get some reps in before that date?
We all know him as one of the most electrifying, dynamic offensive threats the game of basketball has ever seen. What he is capable of doing on a nightly basis given his physical stature and skillset is unparalleled. He can score any which way he wants; he’s a willing playmaker and an underrated rim protector.
But with all that being said, he’s still not entirely unsusceptible to rust — even as a basketball phenom. Warranted, there are risks by putting him in a competitive, combative setting — which will be the case in Olympic play, but you can’t deny his passion for the game.
If KD wants to play, he’s going to play. It doesn’t matter if it is in an Olympic setting or a cutthroat game between fellow colleagues in a closed-off gym in Southern California. You can’t keep him insulated in an extensively-protected cubicle filled to the brim with bubble wrap and foam forever. At some point, he’s going to be playing basketball at a high level.
Likewise, if he were to play this upcoming summer for Team USA, at that point, he’d have more than a full calendar year to recover from his Achilles’ injury suffered in Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals. This wouldn’t be a situation where he’s risking re-injury by prematurely returning to the game he loves. If he’s healthy, and he wants to play, that’s really the end of the story. So fret not, it’s out of our power.