‘Moment of clarity’ inspired Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving to spurn Knicks
It was long believed before Kevin Durant joined forces with Kyrie Irving with the Brooklyn Nets that he would sign with the New York Knicks if he decided to leave the Golden State Warriors.
It turns out, according to a report from Marc Berman of the New York Post, that Durant and Irving collectively determined that the Knicks, long mired in widespread organizational dysfunction, were not an appealing option in any respect. In the end, the Nets turned out to be a better fit.
“Those two wanted to be a partnership and the Knicks were told they may come at some point,’’ one person familiar with the situation said. “But upon reflection they saw Brooklyn evolve into decency while the Knicks continued meandering. [Coach] Kenny Atkinson is a developmental guy learning as he goes, he’s just ordinary at best with X’s and O’s. So the Knicks had an early lead. But they had a moment of clarity. The Nets were further along and still was the New York market.”
According to Howard Beck of Bleacher Report, Durant and Irving agreed to join forces on a new team ahead of last season, with the Knicks and Nets believed to be their desired targets. The perception that the Knicks, however, will continue to languish under the controversial and ineffective ownership of James Dolan ultimately determined the two superstars’ fates.
Irving, a New Jersey native, also hinted in a recent Instagram post that the appeal of playing close to home narrowed his choices to the Nets and Knicks, but the latter would not have made sense.
“Going to the Knicks would be counterintuitive to him,’’ an NBA source said. “But Kyrie isn’t afraid of the glare or the moment or anything hoop-wise.’’
Durant, meanwhile, bristled at the notion that he simply followed Irving’s lead when signing with the Nets in a social media dispatch.
In the end, the Nets have evolved into New York’s marquee NBA franchise, while the Knicks organization unfortunately continues to be maligned by its laughingstock reputation.