Kevin Durant was involved in the weirdest NBA COVID protocol situation of the '20-'21 season on Friday night. Durant was held out of the start of the Brooklyn Nets game against the Toronto Raptors game because of health and safety protocols. Eventually, he was cleared because the person he had been in contact with had returned a negative test. Durant was allowed to join his team and entered the game with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter.
Then in the third quarter things got weird. Durant was whistled for what would have been his fifth foul and ESPN's Doris Burke and Dave Pasch started to discuss how Steve Nash would use him the rest of the game, while Steve Nash challenged the call.
Officials looked at the replay, which clearly showed Durant had fouled Norman Powell, and reversed the call. While Pasch and Burke tried to process that decision, Durant headed to the locker room. A few moments later, Mika Andrews came on the telecast and dropped a bomb. The NBA had pulled Durant from the game because of the same healthy and safety protocols that had kept him out of the start of the game.
If this is anything more than precautionary, it could be a disaster. Hopefully, it won't be. Heck, it's probably just our beloved "abundance of caution," but Durant was on the court for 19 minutes with his teammates and the Raptors. He was in the huddles and in the locker room at halftime. This makes the league look like they don't know what they're doing.
Of course, no one really does. The NFL and MLB powered through their seasons. The NBA and NHL are doing the same right now. There's no way to avoid this, but it makes you think the NBA didn't learn from the Justin Turner situation. What happened tonight with Durant was just as wild.
UDPATE: Here's Steve Nash on losing KD twice in one game.
It seems crazy that the league didn't pause this game. As for KD, he took to Twitter in the locker room. Or wherever he is being held. Someone please check on Kevin Durant.
Per Malika Andrews, KD has tested negative multiples times and it looks like an "abundance of caution" situation.