Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant sprained his MCL in their matchup with the Miami Heat on January 8. Since Durant went down with that injury, the Nets are 0-4 and have fallen from second place in the conference to fourth.
When Durant was initially diagnosed with his injury, the timeline for the next step in his recovery process was to get re-evaluated in two weeks. During the broadcast of the Nets and Suns game on January 19, TNT reported that Durant is still scheduled to be re-evaluated in the two-week timeline, but the star forward is still in a knee brace. A sign pointing to his injury recovery taking even longer than expected.
“TNT says Kevin Durant still in a knee brace, will get next evaluation early next week,” NetsDaily tweeted on January 19.
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Kevin Durant Sounds off on the State of NBA Free Agency
If anyone is qualified to speak on the current status of free agency, it would be Durant. The star forward has twice been an unrestricted free agent, and both times sent shockwaves through the league with his decision.
Who could forget in 2016 when he chose to join the two-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors after he and the Oklahoma City Thunder got eliminated by them just weeks prior? And although his decision to leave Golden State and join the Brooklyn Nets was a lot less controversial, Durant has reached a point in his career where whatever he does will become a headline.
But even outside of Durant, NBA free agency has become an event all of its own, perhaps even as big as the game itself. When asked if there is too much focus on free agency, Durant said the focus surrounding it, is just part of the growth of the game and how it is consumed by fans.
“When it comes to people, and it comes to how they consume things — everything looks like it’s doing incredible right now. So, adding free agency, summer league, regular season, all that stuff, I think that’s just another avenue for people to be engaged in the game,” Durant said to ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“Free agency is a huge deal — and they want to see where their favorite players are going, or their favorite teams are getting because they see guys starting to move. So, it’s important, but the games are the only thing that really matters, to be honest.”
Ben Simmons Ejected in Loss to Suns
It was another disappointing night for Nets All-Star forward Ben Simmons in their loss to the Phoenix Suns on January 19. Simmons, who is still trying to find his rhythm after a layoff that lasted well over a year, had just 7 points and 4 field goal attempts on the night.
But even more disappointing than Simmons’ stat line is his inability to stay out of foul trouble, which has daunted the Nets all season. In the third quarter of Brooklyn’s matchup with the Suns, Simmons picked up his fifth foul and was visibly upset with the official that made the call.
As he made his way to the bench, Simmons said something to the referee, which earned him his first technical foul. Then when he got to the bench, he barked something else at the referee, earning him his second technical foul, which is an automatic ejection.
Already without Durant, the Nets needed all the help they could get to snap their losing skid. And losing Simmons in the third quarter made their task even more challenging to overcome, as the Suns won the game 117-112.
The Nets can get back on track in their next game against the Indiana Pacers on January 20.