Nets rookies sing Happy Birthday to Kevin Durant
The Nets didn’t shower Kevin Durant with expensive gifts Thursday for his 34th birthday because, as coach Steve Nash put it, “what do you get someone who has everything?”
Nash joked that his present to the 12-time All-Star was “a light practice” in Brooklyn on Day 3 of training camp, though a couple of cakes also were wheeled out after practice — and Alondes Williams led the team’s rookies in a rendition of “Happy Birthday” to Durant.
“It was awful,” Nash said jokingly. “Our guy is a year older. Kudos to him for still playing at an incredibly high historic level at 34.”
Durant, who returned to the Nets after rescinding a summertime trade request, will enter his 15th NBA season ranked 24th on the all-time NBA/ABA scoring list with 25,526 points. If he remains healthy and available this season, Durant could move up several slots, well into the top 20.
“Any time you get a chance to work on your birthday, I don’t know [how] enjoyable it is. Happy to share the space with him, and celebrate with him, 34 years of life,” Kyrie Irving said of Durant. “It’s good being in a team environment and having some fun going through training camp.”
Irving likes what he has seen from Ben Simmons, the three-time All-Star, who didn’t appear in any games for the Nets following his acquisition in the James Harden trade in February, due to mental-health issues and a back injury that required surgery.
“That level of talent and IQ and motivation and drive, anything’s possible,” Irving said. “He has that ‘it’ inside of him, so now we just have to slowly develop him where he knows that he can just go out there and be himself. We want him to be his highest potential of himself … and just have some fun being at peace around him.
“It’s going to take time obviously for health-wise, but we’re patient, so just wait for him to look like he’s in All-Star form again, which I know will happen soon.”
The Nets waived guard Marcus Zegarowski, who appeared in eight games last season for Long Island in the G-League.
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