Nets’ Kevin Durant must quarantine seven days after contact with team employee who tested positive for COVID-19

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant will go through a seven-day quarantine and can return to the team next Friday and be available for the Feb. 13 game against the Golden State Warriors, as long he meets the league’s health and safety protocols.

In a weird series of events, Durant was at first unsure if he could play in Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors due to contact tracing. He didn’t start but played 19 minutes before he was told he would have to leave the bench area after it was confirmed a team staffer tested positive for COVID-19.

A Nets team employee drove in a car with Durant on three separate occasions Friday — to the practice facility for testing, back home after testing and to Barclays Center for the game against the Raptors — while apparently not wearing masks, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about Durant’s quarantine.

Durant tested negative three times in a 24-hour period, but the team employee’s negative test came back inclusive. Under the league’s health and safety protocols, a player does not have to quarantine until a close contact tests positive. That’s why Durant played minutes on Friday. He didn’t start because they were waiting for a test result to return, and that was inclusive. But when the team employee’s next test came back positive during the game, Durant was removed.

Though Durant continues to test negative, he must quarantine for seven days because the close contact tested positive.

All other Nets players and staffers have tested negative, including postgame tests following the loss to Toronto on Friday.

Durant was unhappy about the situation, tweeting, “Free me” and “Yo @nba, your fans aren’t dumb. You can’t fool em with your Wack ass PR tactics. #FREE7”

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt.

Kevin Durant

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