Kevin Durant will play in his first real game on Tuesday night for the first time in roughly 18 months.
The new Brooklyn Nets star will square off against his former team when they host the Warriors, too, something that many would expect will bring out plenty of emotions — especially given that his last moments on the floor with Golden State resulted in a brutal Achilles injury.
That, Durant insisted Monday, won’t be the case.
"Playing against old teammates never really ratcheted me up. I always felt like I was on that level no matter who is on the floor. I feel like each game is important to me," Durant said, via USA Today. "It’ll be good to see some of my old teammates and be good to play against them and good to see some of the people I worked with in my time in Golden State. Nothing more than that."
Durant doesn’t blame Warriors, not trying to ‘prove’ anything
Durant last played in the 2019 Finals when he tore his Achilles with the Warriors, and then had to spend all of last season recovering. The 32-year-old averaged 26 points and 6.4 rebounds per game during the Warriors’ run that season, his 12th in the league.
“Injuries happen in this league,” he said Monday, via USA Today. “I had a tough one. But I wouldn’t blame that on anybody.”
He faced criticism for how he left the Thunder, too. Durant went to the loaded Warriors immediately after they knocked Oklahoma City out of the playoffs, and then proceeded to win two titles. Now, some think that Durant’s decision to move to Brooklyn and pair up with Kyrie Irving is him having something to prove.
That, he insists, isn’t the case.
“It wasn’t about me trying to go to the Nets to prove I can make it on my own,” Durant said, via USA Today. “Whatever the hell that means … Everything I’ve been a part of is my own. Every team I’ve been a part of I left my mark on each team and I stamped what I bring to the table. I’ve never looked at it as just mine. I don’t look at the Nets as mine. It’s our team. From the fans to the owners to the players, it’s our team.”
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