Kevin Durant confirmed The Post’s report he’s not planning on coming back to the Nets this summer in Orlando.
“My season is over,’’ Durant told The Undefeated. “I don’t plan on playing at all. We decided last summer when it first happened that I was just going to wait until the following season. I had no plans of playing at all this season.
“It’s just best for me to wait. I don’t think I’m ready to play that type of intensity right now in the next month. It gives me more time to get ready for next season and the rest of my career.”
Durant hasn’t committed to whether he will be in attendance in Orlando, where part of training camp will be staged.
“That is a decision we are still making,’’ Durant said, according to the report. “I still got some time to make it. As of right now, I am enjoying the routine I am on.”
The Post reported earlier Friday, citing a league source, the NBA’s 22-team restart format had not swayed Durant and he’s still planning on making his Nets debut next season.
Recently, Nets general manager Sean Marks had kept alive the sliver of possibility that Durant would make his return during the season restart that begins July 31, but The Post reported Thursday that was doubtful.
“I’m doing well,’’ Durant said. “Working out every day. I’m moving. I’m feeling like a normal player again. I’m just in my summertime routine. I’m working out every day and going to the gym in the morning. So, I feel good.”
Durant should be ready to roll for Nov. 10’s training camp and potentially the Dec. 1 opener for the 2020-21 season.
Though the July 31 reopener would be 14 months since he ruptured his Achilles tendon during last year’s NBA Finals, the Nets are concerned about Durant’s rehab being interrupted dramatically in mid-March when he had progressed to five-on-five scrimmages with Nets bench players and player-developmental coaches.
That was the last part of his rehab. But the pandemic has prevented Durant from playing much basketball for nearly three months.
Kyrie Irving — who had season-ending shoulder surgery on March 3 — is not playing this season as expected. According to ESPN, Irving suggested on Friday’s player association conference call that it’s possible he could join the Nets in Orlando — but as an inactive player supporting his teammates.
The Nets will regroup for training camp June 30. For the time being, Durant is in Los Angeles.
Marks hinted two weeks ago Durant was out for the Disney World relaunch when he said he was looking forward to Durant playing in Brooklyn.
“I’m excited about him on the floor at Barclays in front of that fan base,’’ Marks told a New Zealand podcast.
Rich Kleiman, Durant’s agent/manager, said recently on an Athletic podcast a Durant return this month was “unrealistic.’’ And last month his buddy Jay Williams, who is a host of Durant’s “The Boardroom” show on ESPN, told The Post it was “unfair to Kevin” to be thrust into a playoff cauldron so quickly upon his return.
Marks will talk to the New York media next week about the Nets’ restart and potentially precarious situation making the playoffs with an eight-game regular season and a potential 8-9 seed play-in game.
In fact, there’s motivation to not make the playoffs. If they happen to fall out, the Nets would regain their lottery-protected first-rounder from Minnesota and would have two first-round picks in the Oct. 15 draft.
The benefit of Durant making a return would have been for him to get familiar with his new teammates, but it’s possible he’ll do that during training-camp scrimmages which begin late this month. Plus, the Nets are being guided by an interim coach, Jacques Vaughn, who likely won’t be around next season.