One major star will be missing from Christmas Day action this year. Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that Brooklyn Nets Forward Kevin Durant will not play in Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Durant entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols exactly one week before Christmas Day along with his teammate, Kyrie Irving. Prior to Durant’s medical setback, the Nets sat atop the Eastern Conference and Durant had been playing some of the best basketball of his career. In a short, four-game stretch, the two-time NBA Champion averaged 37.5 points, 9 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game.
Fortunately, the Nets have not had to play any games since Durant and Irving entered health and safety protocols. However, the Nets have lost more than nine players due to COVID-19 health safety protocols. With that said, the Nets are not the only team in the league to experience issues due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases recorded across the country.
The NBA, like many other professional sports leagues, has experienced a number of issues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Just yesterday, six members of the Minnesota Timberwolves were forced to sit out due to health and safety protocols. Elsewhere, coaches like Billy Donovan, Rick Carlisle, Frank Vogel and Alvin Gentry will miss time due to health precautions.
On the brighter side, all the big names will not be missing from Christmas Day action. Brooklyn Nets Guard James Harden Milwaukee Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo are expected to play after entering health and safety protocols earlier this month.