KD forged out a plan to team up with Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn after eyeing the Nets for years — the two came up with the plot during the ’16 Olympics. He described the team’s vibe as “chill, on the low, all-black everything,” and had a life-long dream of living in New York. His father Wayne Pratt was on board with the idea, until a video conference call with the Knicks executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry.
Pratt, who himself is a Knicks fan, informed Durant about their call via a text, trying to turn away his son’s interest from the Nets before the free-agency had officially begun, saying there was only one New York team worth playing for.
The Knicks is Mecca. If you want to do it, do it big. If you want to be a New Yorker, be a Knick.Matt Sullivan, Can’t Knock the Hustle
Durant didn’t think anyone, not even his dad, had the right to mess with his personal freedom. Plus, the Knicks’ behind-the-scenes meeting with Pratt went against the NBA’s tampering rules, and the superstar forward wanted no part of it. He responded to his dad, saying, “he did not want his pops f—ing with the plan,” questioning whether he had his best interest in mind.
“Let me explain one f—ing thing to you,” his dad responded. “Don’t you ever question my integrity. There’s nobody more important in this world when it comes to you THAN YOU.“
But Durant wanted to do something different. Pratt even questioned if KD wanted to join the Nets solely because Kyrie “was his buddy.” Kevin, however, pushed back against that. He was making a decision for himself and nothing his dad said or did could’ve persuaded him otherwise.
I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York. I didn’t care about being the king of New York. That never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway. I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill. And that’s what Brooklyn embodied.Kevin Durant, All The Smoke
A while later, KD and his agent Rich Kleiman announced their decision to join the Nets live on their sports-business TV show, “The Boardroom.” And so far, it seems that was the right thing to do, in spite of his father’s pitch to join the Nets’ next-door neighbor.
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