The New York Knicks struck out in their pursuit of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving during NBA free agency this summer.
Instead Kyrie and KD joined the Brooklyn Nets.
“The Knicks have to get rid of Dolan somehow,” retired NBA veteran Etan Thomas told Scoop B Radio.
Thomas was the 12th pick by the Dallas Mavericks in the 2000 NBA Draft. He had stints with the Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder and Atlanta Hawks. He’s now a civil rights activists, freelance writer and a poet.
Thomas held no punches about James Dolan and the Knicks. Why get rid of Dolan?
“Because he’s the problem,” he told me.
“Nothing good is going to happen there until the Knicks get rid of him. Right now, they’re stuck. They have two free agents that wanted to go there and that didn’t happen. They said he didn’t offer the max. Seriously? He’s KD, you don’t offer him the max? We’ve been hearing about him all season wanting to come to New York and you send him to Brooklyn? Come on man!”
KD and Kyrie was a move which began to appear more and more likely as free agency chatter began to ramp up.
Etan Thomas’ rhetoric is similar to NBA Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal’s.
“Yeah, you know the New York people they know everything and they’re always right,” O’Neal told me two weeks ago on Scoop B Radio.
“To see them [Knicks] have all those plans and they don’t work out. Because for me if I have plans I’ll never tell you about it. I don’t talk about it before it happens.”
One would argue that Durant being heavily tied to folks within the Knicks organization would make it an easy sell.
For one, his business partner, Rich Kleiman, is a huge Knicks fan that is 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.
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+.
There are more Knicks ties. Like Alonzo Trier.
Trier has been mentored by Kevin Durant throughout his high school and college career. Trier is from Seattle, where Durant was drafted, and the two have a close relationship.
KD is also tied to DeAndre Jordan. They won Olympic gold medals together.
KD is also close to Knicks assistant coach, Royal Ivey. A Harlem native, the two were Texas Longhorns teammates and also played together with the Oklahoma City Thunder for three years.
Along with all those ties, Durant is also the godfather of Ivey’s daughter, Lyric Ella. Ivey has spent the past two seasons working as an assistant for the Thunder. He had received interest from other teams as well, including the Philadelphia 76ers.
We also can’t forget that the last time the Knicks were brought up to Durant, it didn’t end well.
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Kevin Durant’s Previous Response to Knicks Question
Durant 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, as ESPN revealed.
“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.”
Shaq Calls Durant Choosing Nets Over Knicks ‘Funniest Day’
NBA free agency came and went and KD is in New York. He’s just not in Manhattan but instead opted to head to Brooklyn.
“The funniest day was the day after they didn’t get anybody,” Shaq joked on Scoop B Radio.
“You see Stephen A. [Smith] on the show like he was just upset it was the funniest thing ever.”
Kevin Durant is a member of the Nets alongside Irving and Jordan.
They’ll join a potent Nets roster that includes center Jarrett Allen, who averaged 10.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 80 starts for last season’s squad which went 42-40. The Nets also still have the likes of Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Shaquille O’Neal likes the new-look Nets because it gives New York something to talk about in hoops other than the Knicks.
“Jay-Z gave them a little steam when he said he was the owner,” Shaq told Scoop B Radio.
“He’s going to be there with KD so they should make a lot of noise. The only unfortunate part for the first time in New York history the Knicks aren’t the important team. That’s kind of funny to me.”