The Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors will duel it out in Game 2 of their NBA Finals Series this evening. The Raptors currently hold a 1-0 lead over the reigning NBA Champions.
The Warriors are playing without their superstar Kevin Durant who has been out for some time with a strained calf that he suffered during Round 2 of the Warriors’ NBA Playoffs matchup against the Houston Rockets.
Durant is rumored to return to the Warriors’ lineup in either Game 3 or 4 of the series.
KD has gained a supporter in New York Giants running back, Saquon Barkley.
“He’s the best player in the world,” Saquon Barkley told Scoop B Radio on June 1 at his ProCamps football camp in North Caldwell, New Jersey.
“One of the best players in the world. It’s him or LeBron [James]. But LeBron was hurt for majority of this year. We couldn’t get the true LeBron [James]. But he still was averaging like 27 [points], 8 [rebounds], 8 [assists] it’s not like he dropped off.”
Barkley also respects what the Toronto Raptors’ Kawhi Leonard is doing.
“Kawhi is going crazy right now,” he told me.
“So, I have the Raptors. I said this on my [Instagram] story the other day: The Raptors are winning the finals if KD doesn’t come back.”
That’s good analysis from the second overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft who nabbed the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie with 11, had the most rushing yards by a rookie by notching 1,307 yards and had the distinction of setting a rookie record for the most touchdowns in a season by a rookie with 15.
If you’re tardy to the party: The best player in the NBA compliment by Barkley for Durant is high praise.
Both players are Roc Nation Sports clients.
Additionally, it is also kind of cool, given that Barkley is originally a New York native by way of the Bronx. Barkley is also the NFL’s reigning Rookie of the Year that plays for the New York Giants.
Intro the 24-hour news coverage narrative: Many believe that Durant could ultimately join the New York Knicks.
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.
“The Knicks are quietly, I believe, becoming attractive,” FS1’s Jason McIntyre told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast earlier this year.
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. Kleiman is also the co-founder and partner in Durant’s The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media.
With the Durant Company, Kleiman oversees Durant’s investment portfolio, including Postmates, Acorns, The Players’ Tribune, JetSmarter. Kleiman has also gotten Durant into the intellectual property space, as well. His Boardroom show, has been a hit via ESPN+
Knicks assistant coach, Royal Ivey is also one of Durant’s closest friends. The two were Texas Longhorn 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.
There’s a chance that Durant could actually stay in The Bay, too.
“I mean, he might stay, you know, try to go for four straight, play his first year in the new arena in San Francisco,” FS1’s Chris Broussard told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“Jordan, Tim Duncan, Kobe, Shaq, LeBron, none of them have won four straight championships. That would be a way for Durant to separate himself from all the great players since Bill Russell, cause he’s the last one to do it. I’m not saying Durant would be better than them, but that’s a heck of a thing to have on your resume, so I’m not ruling out Golden State for one more year, and when you ask people around the league, there’s a lot of talk that he’s going to New York and a lot of people think Kawhi Leonard’s gonna go to the Clippers, so that’s kind of what’s out there right now, talking to people around the league.”