Many believe that the New York Knicks are going to dive head first into acquiring free-agent to be Kevin Durant in this summer’s NBA free agency sweepstakes.
Will he come to NYC???
“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 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.