WATCH: Kevin Durant Getting The Hang Of Pickleball; It Is The Fastest Growing Sport In America

Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant is adding another sport to his repertoire. The seven footer is picking up pickleball. Video of the two-time Finals MVP is circulating and he’s not bad. His enormous wingspan and hand-eye coordination definitely help.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America, according to data. It’s a hybrid of tennis, badminton and pingpong. In the five years to the end of 2019, pickleball participation grew by more than 7 percent, according to the Sport & Fitness Industry Association.

The COVID-19 pandemic helped its popularity as people were looking for outdoor activities when gyms and other exercise options were shut down.

While KD appeared to be having a good time, this is all an interlude until NBA training camps open in another week.

How will the first day of Nets training camp be? It’s not like anything happened over the summer right?

On paper the Nets have as talented a roster as anyone in the NBA. With KD, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, Royce O’Neale, Patty Mills and TJ Warren, this team should sleepwalk to a top three seed in the east.

However this team is anything from a sure thing. KD made a public trade request and demanded that the head coach and general manager be fired in order for him to rescind his request. Both Steve Nash and Sean Marks are still employed with the team and so is KD. That’s going to be a little awkward the first time they all interact.

The mercurial Irving is as brilliant a player we have in the league. But will he show up to work and be dependable and accountable to the coaching staff and his teammates? Recent history says no.

Then there is Simmons, the uber talented 6’10 elite playmaker, open court player and defender. Yes, he doesn’t shoot. But on a team with KD and Irving, he won’t need to.

We haven’t seen Simmons play basketball since the playoffs in 2021 and that was not his finest moment. He sat out all of last season, citing poor mental health as the reason he wasn’t ready to play. He also had a back procedure in the offseason, and though he’s expected to be ready with no restrictions for camp, that’s something to monitor.

This will either be a really good contending basketball team or a disaster of epic proportions this season. Given all the people involved, it’s hard to see anything in the middle.

For KD these are the final seasons of a legendary career. Soon to be 34, he’s still an All-NBA player and when on the floor has a case for best player in the world. He finished fifth in EPM last season behind Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Steph Curry.

But he has more NBA years behind him than in front. How does he want to finish out this legendary career? Buying in and playing elite hoops with a chance to win a title? Or performing well individually, but not able to have team success too?

We won’t have to wait long to find out.

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