The NBA suspended Kevin Durant for COVID-19 contact tracing on Friday night, and the Nets star left a two-word message for the league:
Though Durant three times in the past 24 hours Had tested negative for coronavirus – including twice on Friday – the nets were still forced to scrape him off the grid at the last minute. Durant was then allowed into the game before being dragged off the pitch in the third quarter and kept out at the Barclays Center for the remainder of the Nets’ 123-117 loss to the Raptors. Now Durant expected that he would miss Saturday’s duel against the leading 76ers in the east – at least. And he’s not happy about it.
« Free me, » Durant tweeted Friday night. « Yo @nba, your fans are not stupid !!!! You can’t fool them with your wack ass PR tactics. # FREE7 »
Durant has already recovered from COVID-19, has antibodies and, according to the league, has returned two negative PCR tests on Friday. But someone the Nets star had interacted with in the afternoon had an inconclusive test result shortly before the tip. Durant was initially held out while this result was being verified, but was then cleared for play by the league.
According to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, a player must not be quarantined until close contact has confirmed a positive test Has. During the game, a positive result was returned for the person with whom Durant had interacted. Once that test was confirmed positive, Durant was removed from the game (« out of caution » according to the league) and contact tracing began to determine if he was indeed a close contact with the positive individual.
« I don’t think he was comes to Philly, but I don’t think it’s necessarily decided, « said Nets coach Steve Nash. « It is a contact tracing process and it has to be determined how much time he has to miss. For now, however, we are only collecting information.
» I hope it is more of a situation to be determined than a situation in which it is is a one-week quarantine. I dont know. I obviously hope we don’t lose him for the week, but I’m not sure right now. We’re still trying to filter what kind of information we can collect and what parameters are needed to make a decision. «
Friday is not the first time Durant has dealt with the new coronavirus or contact tracing.
Durant had COVID-19 in May and last month had a seven-day quarantine and games against Jazz, 76ers and Grizzlies are missing out for having had contact tracing.
He also recently tested positive for antibodies, but the league’s COVID-19 protocols don’t distinguish between players with antibodies and those without antibodies, so Durant is not exempt. It is a situation that upset both Durant and his teammates.
« He feels the same way, especially that he already has it, » said James Harden. « We get tested every day. He was negative so understand I don’t have the problem. «
The networks were announced at 7:38 pm. – about two minutes before the lineups were revealed – that Durant would not be available to start. There were additional tests for everyone Durant came in contact with and the league eventually cleared him up to play. He checked in and replaced Harden with 4:13 in the first quarter.
Even so, Durant’s night lasted only 19 minutes. At 9:06 am on the third, after Nash called time out to challenge a call (a fifth foul on Durant), word came that he would have to sit for the rest of the night.
« They continued testing for clarity to win, and I think there was a positive test, there was a negative test, there was an inconclusive test, « said Nash. « You add it all up, it was misleading for a moment, so he got to play.
» You kept testing to get more data and the last test was positive. I think that was the last straw that pulled him out of the game, but I don’t want to say too much. « My head spins a little around all the parameters of Kevin’s situation, but I’m also trying to keep our team in a changing one Coaching the landscape. «
Durant finished the race with eight points – the first time since February 28, 2017, when he only logged 1:33 for the Warriors.
It remains to be seen whether or how long Durant needs to be quarantined again.
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