Kevin Durant is about to suit up for an NBA basketball game for the first time in 17 months and he might be playing center.
“I think Coach [Steve Nash] is going to use me in a variety of ways, especially as a small ball 5 and 4 sometimes,” Durant said. “And bringing the ball up, too, so I’ve just got to be ready for anything.”
Behind The Scenes: Nets assistant coach Mike D’Antoni, who’s in charge of the offensive gameplan, is best known for implementing the positionless philosophy in Houston when the 6’5” 3-and-D specialist P.J. Tucker played center for most of the 2019-20 season.
There’s a method to D’Antoni’s madness, utilizing players outside of their usual position.
Durant, typically a small forward, has the height to play center at 6’10” and he’s a 38 percent career three-point shooter.
With Durant always an option from the perimeter, this should open driving lanes for isolation-heavy Nets like Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Dinwiddie, who averaged 20.6 points per game last season, was a fan of Durant’s versatility before the two-time champion joined the Nets.
“KD literally plays one through the five,” Dinwiddie said at his Nets exit interview in 2019. “He can shoot from 35 feet, he can dribble…he can dunk on you. We’ve all seen it.”