Kevin Durant‘s return to Golden State was much friendlier than anyone could have imagined when he left the team two years ago, writes Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic. Although there were no fans Saturday to welcome him back because of COVID-19 restrictions, the organization played a tribute video, followed by a standing ovation from members of the front office. After the Nets posted a lopsided victory, Durant greeted everyone on the Warriors’ bench.
“Kevin came here and gave us three years of just incredible basketball,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “The least we could do is welcome him back with open arms. I think everybody was genuinely happy to see him, obviously, healthy and playing at such a high level again. That’s the main thing. The guy gave everything to us for three years and then left with a devastating injury. So there should be a lot of love for him. He did so much for us.”
There’s more from Brooklyn:
- A month into their partnership in the Nets’ backcourt, Kyrie Irving and James Harden have worked out a new arrangement, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Irving decided this week that Harden should take over the point guard role, and the former MVP responded with 16 assists Saturday night. “(The talk) went quick, it went professionally and we looked at each other in agreement and James was like, ‘OK, I’m the point guard and you’re the shooting guard,’” Irving said. “It’s easy to play off somebody that’s willing to complement your game and ready to sacrifice and it’s easy to do. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.”
- Spencer Dinwiddie offered an update on his rehab from a partially torn ACL in an Instagram post Saturday, relays Kristian Winfield of The New York Daily News. The Nets received a Disabled Player Exception for Dinwiddie’s injury, but he says he’s far ahead of schedule and hasn’t given up hope of playing again this season. “I share his sense of optimism for him being back playing, being as good as he ever was. But I certainly don’t want to put any undue pressure, unrealistic expectations on him returning this season,” coach Steve Nash said. “My No. 1 concern with Spencer is long-term health and ability to play and finish his career at a really high level. That to me is way more important than trying to rush him back for our own self-interest here.”
- A NetsDaily story examines whether the team would still be interested in Hawks forward John Collins after being involved in trade talks for him last season.