Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant had the world in his palm during the summer of 2019. After winning two championships to go along with two NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards with the Golden State Warriors, he was set to hit the free-agent market. This allowed him to sign with any team of his choosing. As one of the best players in the league every team was sure to be at his doorstep.
Durant along with All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving was set to hit the free-agent market and multiple reports pointed to them joining forces together in New York City. The question remained whether it would be for the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks. However, according to Matt Sullivan the author of Can’t Knock the Hustle, the Knicks front office used Durant’s father to try to get him to sign with the franchise.
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Durant Didn’t View New York as ‘the Mecca’
“Kevin’s very careful. Sean Mark’s very careful. Kyrie’s very careful. Nobody knew about when Steve Nash was going to be coach because those three were figuring that on their own. That all like… leaks but, the Knicks liked KD. So, Steve Mills and Scott Perry are setting up this video call with Wayne Pratt; KD’s dad, lifelong Knicks fan just like Rich Kleiman who’s KD’s manager, business partner, and agent,” Durant said to Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson of Bally Sports Network.
“And the Knicks and their eternal desperation of lifelong suffering Knicks fans come after KD’s dad and try to make the whole video pitch. But from my understanding from what my sources told me is that KD at that point had his mind made up. But yes, offensively it was tampering because this was before the free agency window had officially opened even though KD had offensively made his mind up to come to Brooklyn while he was still playing in the NBA Finals with the Warriors.”
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Knicks Used Durant’s Father To Tamper With His Free Agency
KD ultimately signed with the Nets. But the thought amongst many was that he and Irving would choose the Knicks, particularly due to the attraction of playing in Madison Square Garden which is often referred to as the ‘Mecca.’ But according to Sullivan the attention of playing for the Knicks was the complete opposite of what Durant was looking for.
“And I think the interesting thing about KD that really shows to me that his search for this thing of this vague destination may have found his GPS in Brooklyn is that you know, he didn’t think New York was the Mecca,” Sullivan continued.
“He thought New York City was the Mecca and that this chill on the low and he calls his ‘all-black everything’ vibe was what he’s been looking into the Nets for years and they hit him and there’s a long kind of side-eye courtship; you know, glaring across the bench courtside and his dad asked, “Are you doing this just for Kyrie because he’s your buddy?” and KD said no. He was making the decision for himself.”
After being linked to the Knicks for so long and ultimately signing with the Nets, you can bet that there is some bad blood between Durant and the fans of the Knicks. With both teams turning themselves into top contenders in the Eastern Conference, the crosstown rivalry may officially be reignited.
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