Kevin Durant Joins NBA COVID-19 Protocol: Will Nets Star Play on Christmas Day?

Nets superstar Kevin Durant’s MVP campaign is taking a brief hiatus.

On Christmas Eve, Durant was dropped from the Nets’ Christmas Day showcase game with the Lakers.

On December 18, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported that Durant had been included in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol.

Durant is the eighth Nets member to be included in the protocols, along with LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter, James Harden, James Johnson, and Paul Millsap. After Durant, it was announced that Kyrie Irving and Day’Ron Sharpe had been included in health and safety protocols.

With 10 players in protocols and sharp hunter Joe Harris out while recovering from an ankle procedure, the Nets used NBA Hardship Exemption to sign three players. In response, the NBA is said to have postponed the Nets’ December 19 meeting with the Nuggets and the game against the Wizards on December 21.

The news of Durant came after the Nets’ announcement that Irving will be allowed to rejoin the team on a part-time basis. Now, what’s next for Durant and the Nets? Here’s what to know about his status in the upcoming games.

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Why did Kevin Durant join the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol?

According to NBA, a vaccinated player will participate in health and safety procedures after testing positive for COVID-19 or receiving inconclusive COVID-19 test results. Since Durant was able to play the games at home, he was confirmed to have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Durant’s results, whether positive or inconclusive, are part of a larger outbreak within the Nets organization, bringing the total number of players across the protocols to eight.

How long will Kevin Durant be out?

If an NBA player tests positive for COVID-19, he must stay away from the team for at least 10 days unless he returns two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour period.

Over the past month, the Lakers’ LeBron James, Malik Monk and Russell Westbrook have all received health and safety checks, returning to the team in less than 10 days.

Will Kevin Durant play at Christmas?

Durant won’t be playing on Christmas Day with the Lakers, Report on Athletic’s Charania on December 24, just over 24 hours from the first day.

James Harden, Paul Millsap and Jevon Carter exited the protocols on December 23, but Nets head coach Steve Nash speak, “we don’t expect anyone else to break out of the protocols [in time for the Christmas Day game], but it can”

“I think you have to take two negative tests 24 hours apart” he continued. “I guess that allows us tonight and tomorrow night to return two negatives, but we don’t anticipate anyone necessarily showing up.”

Nets schedule 2021-22

Day Protest Time / Result National Television
December 18 compared to magic L, 100-93
December 19 compared to Nuggets Postpone
December 21 compared to witches Postpone
December 23 at Trail Blazers Postpone
December 25th at Lakers 20:00 ABC / ESPN
December 27 at Clippers 10:30 PM NBA TV
December 30 compared to 76ers 7:00 pm NBA TV
January 1 compared to Clippers 7:30 PM ONLY
January 3 compared to Grizzlies 7:30 PM ONLY NBA TV
January 5 at Pacers 7:30 PM ONLY

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