Durant pulled mid-game from Nets bench due to contact tracing

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Before the Raptors vs. Nets game tipped off, word came down that Kevin Durant was being held out due to contact tracing, part of the league’s health and safety protocols. Then during the first quarter, he appeared on the Nets bench — he had been cleared — and he was in the game soon after.

That lasted until the third quarter when he was pulled out again — and again for health and safety protocols.

Durant was PISSED and took to Twitter.

Here is the NBA’s official statement on what happened, from Tim Frank, senior VP of Basketball Communications with the league:

“Kevin Durant has tested negative three times in the last 24 hours, including two negative PCR tests today. However, someone he interacted with this afternoon subsequently had an inconclusive test result return shortly before the game.  Durant was initially held out of the game while that result was being reviewed.  Under the league’s health and safety protocols, we do not require a player to be quarantined until a close contact has a confirmed positive test.  During the game, a positive result was returned for the person Durant interacted with this afternoon. Once that test was confirmed positive, out of an abundance of caution, Durant was removed from the game, and contact tracing is underway to determine if he was in fact a close contact of the positive individual.”

Durant had and recovered from the virus last year.

Durant, who had 8 points in 19 minutes off the Brooklyn bench, did not return to the game (Toronto beat the Nets 123-117).

It’s unclear how long Durant will be out — it depends upon how long he was in contact with the person who tested positive — but he did not travel with teammates to Philadelphia for a Saturday game. The last time Durant had a similar contact tracing situation he missed four games.

The NBA does not have a second set of rules for players who got and recovered from the virus — to allow those players more freedoms (whether they are immune or not) would incentivize others to get the virus. Which would be a very bad look.