With the NBA set to return in July with 22 teams traveling to Orlando and the Brooklyn Nets firmly in the playoff mix, many dreamed that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving might return from their injuries to make Brooklyn a very formidable seventh seed to play. Those hopes have been dashed over the last 24 hours, however; both Durant and Irving said they don't plan on playing again this season, hard stop.
That's disappointing for numerous reasons for fans of basketball, even if it's the correct one. Durant is still recovering from his torn Achilles suffered in the 2019 NBA Finals, and he wasn't particularly close to full speed practice when the global pandemic shut down life for everybody. Irving underwent season-ending shoulder surgery right before the season was shut down after battling the injury for most of the season. It was always a long shot they'd make a playoff run for the ages, but now it's officially done.
This all means we'll have to wait until December 1 (at least) until Durant and Irving will take the court together. It will be glorious when that does happen. Irving is as skilled with the ball in his hands as any player in NBA history. It remains to be seen how Durant looks after a devastating injury like a torn Achilles, but it feels likely he'll still be very good, even if the injury might prevent him from looking like the world-destroying Kevin Durant that probably could have pushed the Warriors to a championship over the Raptors.
The two of them together will be a sight to see. The roster might look quite different by the time they suit up together, but they're worth the price of admission by themselves. It'll be great when they come back-- but for now, they'll be sitting tight just like the rest of us.