After missing all of last season due to a ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during the 2019 NBA Finals, Kevin Durant made his debut for the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night.
Fittingly, the four-time NBA scoring champion started it with a slam dunk.
Durant shot 5-of-12 from the field to finish with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists in 24 minutes of play as the Nets knocked off the Washington Wizards 119-114 at the Barclays Center.
“It’s one thing to come back,” Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. “It’s another thing to come back and look as explosive and mobile and skillful as he has after a long layoff. I’m incredibly proud of him.”
“I was anxious, nervous,” Durant said after the win. “I visualized this moment for so long — nine, 10 months of thinking about how it would be, this next phase of my career. I felt like I was chomping at the bit, especially once COVID hit because I didn’t see a future — when the season was going to start in the future. I was going through it. So to go through this felt solid.”
Durant’s teammate Kyrie Irving also returned to the floor for the first time since undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in February. Irving, who finished with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in 18 minutes, declined to speak to reporters after the game despite being just fined $25,000 for the same infraction.