A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed Durant’s positive test to The Washington Post, speaking anonymously so as to freely discuss the private medical situation.
“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” Durant told the Athletic, which first reported his diagnosis and that he was asymptomatic.
The four Nets players join three players — Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons — who previously tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert’s positive test last week led the NBA to suspend the season.
In a statement posted to social media, Gobert said he was “under great care and will fully recover.” Mitchell said in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he was “doing well” and asymptomatic. Wood has also been asymptomatic.
The Nets’ positive tests are noteworthy because they cannot be directly linked to the Jazz or the Pistons. Brooklyn and Utah last met Jan. 14, nearly two months before Gobert’s positive test. Brooklyn last faced Detroit on Jan. 29. By contrast, the Jazz and Pistons played each other March 7, just four days before Gobert’s test, and the three players who tested positive were on the court together.
In the wake of the Nets’ positive tests, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) criticized the limited availability of testing for the general public.
“We wish them a speedy recovery,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “But, with all due respect, an entire NBA team should NOT get tested for COVID-19 while there are critically ill patients waiting to be tested. Tests should not be for the wealthy, but for the sick.”
The Nets procured their tests from a private company rather than from a governmental agency, according to a person with direct knowledge of the organization’s testing procedures. Brooklyn’s players were tested Saturday after they returned from a road trip, and the results became available Tuesday.
Durant, 31, has missed the entire season as he recovers from an Achilles’ injury suffered in June but was traveling with the Nets on a recent road trip to California. Durant attended the Nets’ most recent game, a March 10 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center. Brooklyn was set to visit the Golden State Warriors on March 12, but that game, which was initially slated to be played in an empty arena because of coronavirus concerns, was ultimately postponed with the rest of the NBA schedule.
In response to the Nets’ positive tests, the Lakers plan to test their players Wednesday and have advised them to self-quarantine for the recommended 14-day period. The Nets said they were “notifying anyone who has had known contact with the players, including recent opponents,” in their statement. Brooklyn faced the Atlanta Hawks, Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls in the two weeks before their positive tests.
More than 5,700 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in the United States. The global total has surpassed 195,000.