By trading Kristaps Porzingis, the New York Knicks put all of their eggs in the free agency basket. They freed up two max-salary slots, hoping to land Kevin Durant and pair him up with another star player.
According to KD himself, going to the Knicks was never an option. The hype around him going to NY was a media-driven narrative, as Durant had ruled them out by February.
“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, The Old Man & The Three
This is in line with everything Durant was saying prior to entering the ’19 free agency. Other than engaging in an occasional Twitter drama, the guy has always been all about the game of basketball. All the extra stuff – the celebrity stuff – that was always piddling for Durant.
Playing for the Knicks, it’s all about that extra stuff. That’s the thing about being a part of one of the NBA’s most iconic brands – solely focusing on the game is off the table. Especially with the way New York media is. The narrative-obsessed superstar would’ve had a hard time dealing with that.
“There’s no show when you come to our games. No Madison Square mecca, all of that s–t. We just gonna hoop and build something new in Brooklyn.”Kevin Durant, The Old Man & The Three
In April, ’19, ESPN’s Ian Begley reported that it’s ‘It’s easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn’t think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July.’ Instead, Durant signed with the Nets and is ready to make his debut at the beginning of the 20-21 NBA season.
The Knicks missed out on every single big-name player and had to settle for the likes of Julius Randle and Bobby Portis. It was another strikeout by an iconic organization that continues to wait for its savior. KD just wasn’t that guy.