Could Kevin Durant join the New York Knicks via NBA free-agency this summer?
Many believe that the New York Knicks are going to dive head first into acquiring the free-agent to be.
Add Brooklyn native and 17 year NBA legend, Sam Perkins to that list.
“The place I could see is New York because of the city,” Perkins told the Scoop B & Reg Podcast.
“He would be God out there.”
Perkins didn’t specify whether he meant the Knicks who play in the borough of Manhattan OR the Nets who play in the borough of Brooklyn.
But the Knicks are believed to one of KD’s suitors this summer.
“The Knicks are quietly, I believe, becoming attractive,” FS1’s Jason McIntyre told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast earlier this year.
“The Knicks. Now listen, Zion’s going to be attractive to people. Again, I don’t think he’s going to be like the best player in the league right out the gate, right? He’s going to sell a lot of tickets, he’s unselfish, I actually think R.J. Barrett will be the number one pick, I think he’s a more complete offensive player. I don’t think Zion could be a number one in the NBA on a championship contender. I like Zion a lot, but I do wonder, are the Knicks attractive?”
Durant is heavily tied to folks within the Knicks organization.
For one, his business partner, Rich Kleiman, is a huge Knicks fan and based in New York.
If you’re tardy to the party: Kleiman is also the co-founder and partner in Durant’s The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media. On a recent episode of Alex Kennedy’s HoopsHypes Podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes who had KD on his own podcast discussed that at length. “I talked to KD about that and he said his company has always been based in New York,” Haynes told Alex Kennedy.
“They’re just moving to a new location there,” Durant told Haynes.
“It’s always been [in NY] and he wanted to make that clear. But the connections are all there.”
With the Durant Company, Kleiman oversees Durant’s investment portfolio, including Postmates, Acorns, The Players’ Tribune, JetSmarter.
Worth noting: Kleiman has also gotten Durant into the intellectual property space, as well. His Boardroom show, which I shared would be rolled out soon, has been a hit via ESPN+
“I know a lot of noise was made about KD’s company moving to a new location in New York,” Haynes told Kennedy.
“But I talked to KD about that and he said his company has always been based in New York; they’re just moving to a new location there. It’s always been [in NY] and he wanted to make that clear. But the connections are all there. It’s all there. I really do think the New York Knicks are players [for Durant]… I’ll tell you, New York is going to be a player.”
There are more Knicks ties. Like Alonzo Triier.
Triier has been mentored by Kevin Durant throughout his high school and college career. Triier is from Seattle, where Durant was drafted, and the two have a close relationship.
“Our relationship has gone all the way through, even until now,” Trier said via the New York Post. “We text, talk and keep in touch all the time. He’s my role model. And if I need anything, I can talk to him — not just about basketball but life.”
KD is also tied to DeAndre Jordan. They won Olympic gold medals together.
“I hate Kevin Durant,” Jordan jokingly told the New York Post.
“I just don’t like him. Terrible guy.’’
When the New York Post’s Marc Berman asked if Durant would be a good fit in New York, Jordan said: “I mean, he won two championships with the Warriors so I mean…” He stopped and nodded.
Then there’s that!
Remember this name: Royal Ivey.
A Knicks assistant coach under head coach, David Fizdale, Ivey, a Harlem native is quite close to Durant. The two were Texas Longhorns teammates and teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years.
KD is the godfather of Ivey’s daughter, Lyric Ella and a league source shared with me that Durant will be in Ivey’s wedding this summer.
Ivey has spent the past two seasons working as an assistant for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had received interest from other teams as well, including the Philadelphia 76ers.
But he chose the New York Knicks. That could mean nothing or it could just be an advantage that the Knicks do have.
What a good advantage to have, too!
I discussed it on last month’s episode of The Dime NBA Podcast with Josh Rodriguez.
“I think it’s important to understand that people say a lot of things,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus tells Scoop B Radio.
“Again, these are not depositions. These are not items where if you prove that they contradict themselves, that they’re going to be charged with perjury. It’s just not how it works and he said some things about LeBron, he’s specifically criticized in the media environment around LeBron, calling it toxic, but he didn’t call LeBron toxic, he didn’t say that, you know, LeBron was a bad person, the two of them worked it out and they hashed it out.”
The last time the Knicks were brought up to Durant, it didn’t end well.
KD went on a viral post-game rant about the Knicks and Kristaps Porzingis’ trade after a Warriors 141-102 win over the San Antonio Spurs in February.
“It’s unnecessary,” said Durant.
“You’ve got a dude, Ethan Strauss, who come in here and just give his whole opinion on stuff and just make it seem like it’s coming from me. He just walk around here, don’t talk to nobody. Just walk in here, survey and then write something like that, and then now y’all piling on me because I don’t want to talk about that. I have nothing to do with the Knicks. I don’t know who traded (Kristaps) Porzingis. That got nothing to do with me. I’m trying to play basketball. Y’all come in here everyday, ask me about free agency, ask my teammates, my coaches. You rile up the fans about it. Yo, let us play basketball. That’s all I’m saying. Now when I don’t want to talk to y’all, it’s a problem with me. Come on, man. Grow up. Grow up. Yeah, you. Grow up. Come on, brah. I come in here and go to work everyday, and I don’t cause no problems. I play the right way, or I try to play the right way. I try to be the best player I can be every possession. What’s the problem? What am I doing to y’all?”
After being peppered with further questions, Durant said: “Who are you? Why do I got to talk to you? Tell me. Is that going to help me do my job better? Naw, man. I didn’t feel like talking.”
Durant concluded his presser by stating: “I just don’t trust none of y’all. Every time I say something, it gets twisted up and thrown out. So many different publications try to tear me down with my words that I say. So, if I don’t say nothing, it’s a problem. I just want to play ball. I want to go to the gym and go home. That’s all. Is that a problem? Alright, then.”
KD joining the Lakers is also something that has been talked about at great lengths.
Some believe that KD may think differently after an interview with Bleacher Report in the fall, where KD labeled playing with LeBron James as toxic and admitted that the attention LeBron James receives isn’t his fault.
So much hype comes from being around LeBron from other people,” said Durant.
“He has so many fanboys in the media. Even the beat writers just fawn over him. I’m like, we’re playing basketball here, and it’s not even about basketball at certain points. So I get why anyone wouldn’t want to be in that environment because it’s toxic. Especially when the attention is bullshit attention, fluff. It’s not LeBron’s fault at all; it’s just the fact you have so many groupies in the media that love to hang on every word. Just get out of the way and let us play basketball.”
“Speaks for the state of the business,” NBA insider Chris Sheridan told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“There’s a lot of aggregation out there. The way these blogs write their headlines is so that people are going to click on it.”
I reported back in the fall that the Lakers are looking to partner Durant, Anthony Davis and LeBron James to create a Lakers juggernaut.
It sounds good. But a lot has happened since then.
For one: LeBon James’ injury on Christmas day happened.
AND THEN: there’s the KD ‘toxic’ comment with Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that set the internet blazing hot…hotter than your favorite Drake and Meek Mill Collab.
Ric Bucher and I discussed it two weeks ago on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
KD does like to change his mind and do what is best for him.
His move to the Golden State Warriors was indicative of that. He got a ring or two out of it.
That move was a chess move that stunned many people back in 2016 and to be frank, KD is in the exact position that LeBron James was in back in 2014 when he decided to return back to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the team that drafted him in 2014.
That said, Durant joining the Knicks might be a faster route to the NBA Finals in a young NBA Eastern Conference, just like it was for James with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are young and growing. The Toronto Raptors with the addition of Kawhi Leonard makes them a favorite in the NBA Eastern Conference.
But there are no favorites in the East like the Golden State Warriors have been in the Western Conference has in years past.
Last season, LeBron James carried a Cavs team to the NBA Finals with less of a supporting cast than he had when Cleveland made runs to the Finals from 2014-2017.
Translation: A Kyrie Irving-less Cavs team.
Could KD do the same thing with the Knicks in the NBA’s Eastern Conference?
We shall see!