Kevin Durant had a strange night and he's not happy about it.
Just before the Brooklyn Nets were set to host the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center on Friday night, the team announced that Durant wouldn't start the game because he was undergoing COVID-19 contact tracing as part of the NBA's health and safety protocols.
After the Nets-Raptors game had begun, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Durant had been cleared to play and would come off the bench.
The former Warriors star entered the game in the first quarter and played almost the entire second quarter, finishing the half with eight points, three rebounds and five assists in 16 minutes.
Then things got weird in the third quarter. Durant picked up his fourth and fifth personal fouls and was relegated to the bench after playing just three minutes. The officials would eventually reverse the fifth foul, but Durant remained on the bench. Midway through the period, someone associated with the Nets spoke to Durant and appears to tell him he can't return to the game, presumably because of the health and safety protocols.
Durant, who only added three rebounds to his stat line in his brief third quarter appearance, tweeted his frustration with the protocols.
Following the conclusion of the Raptors' 123-117 win over the Nets, the NBA released a statement regarding the situation, saying a close contact of Durant had tested positive, requiring them to remove the two-time NBA Finals MVP from the game.
Durant, furious with the NBA's explanation, called out the league in a tweet after the game.
Durant and everyone else questioning the NBA right now is correct. If the league felt removing Durant from the game was the right move because he had been exposed to someone who tested positive, shouldn't the Nets-Raptors game been stopped immediately because all those players and team personnel had been exposed to Durant?
Nets star wing James Harden agrees, saying the game should have been postponed.
Wojnarowski reported after the game, citing sources, that the Nets have been cleared to travel to Philadelphia for their game against the 76ers on Saturday, but that Durant must remain in Brooklyn. But if Durant was deemed a close contact, shouldn't everyone he interacted with during Friday's game be considered a close contact as well?
Durant, the Nets and most observers don't understand how things were handled Friday night, and the NBA might have to address this situation further.
The Nets are scheduled to visit Northern California next weekend for games against the Warriors on Feb. 13 and the Kings on Feb. 15. At this point, it's unclear if those plans will be affected or if Durant will be forced to quarantine again and miss those games.