NEW YORK — Kevin Durant, as part of his first public comments since injuring his hamstring in February, on Thursday addressed a feud between himself and actor and comedian Michael Rapaport that had been made public this week.
Rapaport posted private messages that he said Durant had sent him — which included threatening language and anti-gay and misogynistic slurs.
Coach Steve Nash said the organization had a conversation with Durant about the language used in the exchange.
On Thursday, Durant said that he was apologetic that fans and the public saw the profanity-ridden back-and-forth.
“I’m sorry that people seen that language I used,” Durant said. “That’s not really what I want people to see and hear from me, but hopefully I can move past it and get back out there on the floor.”
Durant also spoke to reporters about his rehabilitation and time away from the court. Durant said he feels “great” now and that his return to the court is imminent.
“I’m progressing pretty well,” he said. “Looking forward to being out there with my teammates pretty soon.”
Nash said he “doubts” Durant will play Sunday against the Chicago Bulls or Monday against the New York Knicks.
Durant said he is making strides in his rehab but still has some hurdles to clear before he can return to the court. Durant, who has been out since Feb. 13, said he is “excited” to integrate back into the Nets’ roster, which has gained several key players since he has been out. Nash said Durant still needs to do some work with “high-intensity loads” before it is deemed safe for him to return.
Durant said he felt he has been away from the court for “too long.”
“Initially, I didn’t think it was that bad, just a regular strain,” Durant said. “Then we got a second scan and they saw it was a little deeper than that. It was one of those things where I’m not feeling a ton of pain, but you don’t want to force one of these injuries and go out there and make it worse.”
He continued: “In my mind, it was also like, ‘Man, you’ve got to be smart and cautious with this type of injury.’ So, just try to be patient with it and just rehab as hard as I can.”
Durant said that when he got injured, he felt that he, James Harden and Kyrie Irving had just started to figure out how to mesh. The trio has played just seven total games together. Since then, Brooklyn has added veteran big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin to the roster.
“I’m looking forward to playing alongside them,” Durant said of Griffin and Aldridge — who started Thursday in his debut for Brooklyn, in a 111-89 win over the Charlotte Hornets. “Guys in the league who have been through a lot in this league and are looking forward to another opportunity to chase something special here with us.”
Durant has missed the Nets’ past 21 games. He is averaging 29 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists this season.
BY MALIKA ANDREWS