Kevin Durant won’t have to wait long to avenge the Brooklyn Nets’ Eastern Conference playoff loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, as the Nets and Bucks play each other on Tuesday night.
It’s the NBA season-opener for both teams, and while the Bucks will raise their first NBA championship banner since 1970, Durant hopes to crash the party.
Durant, a former No. 1 overall pick, is one of 13 former Longhorns on NBA rosters as of Oct. 18.
Durant, who injured his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, missed the entire 2019-20 season to rehab the injury and returned last season to reclaim his MVP form. Durant averaged 26.9 points and 7.1 rebounds in the regular season and pushed his game to another level in the postseason. He had five double-doubles in the semifinal series against Milwaukee. Plus, there was his epic triple-double in Game 5 — 49 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Nets have another former Longhorn who briefly retired last season. Forward LaMarcus Aldridge left San Antonio due to a buyout of his contract last spring and joined the Nets in an effort to make a playoff push. But, two weeks later, he retired due to an irregular heartbeat. Aldridge received medical clearance to play again and re-signed with the Nets.
P.J. Tucker, the veteran forward, won his first NBA title with the Bucks, joining the team via trade. He’s now in Miami playing with Jimmy Butler and the Heat.
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Other former Texas players that are NBA veterans include Cleveland center Jarrett Allen, Detroit guard Cory Joseph, Indiana center Myles Turner, Orlando forward Mo Bamba, Sacramento forward Tristan Thompson, Houston guard D.J. Augustin and New Orleans forward Jaxson Hayes.
All three of Texas’ 2021 NBA Draft picks made their respective teams — Charlotte’s Kai Jones, Portland’s Greg Brown III and the New York Knicks’ Jericho Sims.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.
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