Kyrie Irving rejected Knicks over concerns about team management
The New York Knicks entered the 2019 NBA offseason hoping to make a huge splash in free agency, perhaps even signing one or two of the most coveted superstars on the market. It turns out that the perception that the Knicks are among the worst-run franchises in professional sports scared away at least one of the team’s prime targets.
According to Frank Isola of The Athletic, Irving rebuffed the Knicks’ interest in him over concerns about the team’s management.
“When it came down to the Nets and Knicks he was concerned about the management of the Knicks,” said a person familiar with Irving’s thinking. “It’s really as simple as that.”
The Knicks were believed to be all-in on the Irving sweepstakes, and the word in NBA circles is that the team was at least conceivably poised to land both the superstar point guard along with his pal, Kevin Durant.
It turns out in the end that neither Durant nor Irving ever perceived the Knicks as a legitimate option, as the two were said to have a “moment of clarity” in July about the team before ultimately choosing the crosstown Brooklyn Nets.
Then in October, Durant shaded the Knicks by intimating that the team is no longer viewed as a desirable destination by players of the current era.
The Knicks have long been mired by the reputation of being in a perpetual state of dysfunction. It begins with owner James Dolan, whose oft-mercurial behavior frequently serves as an embarrassment for the organization.
The flawed hierarchy at the top, it would appear, trickles down to the front office, as current president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry presently find themselves under the gun to turn around the franchise’s direction in short order.
Having a player as talented as Irving presumably could have helped usher in a new era for the Knicks. Unfortunately, the organization’s decades-long issues with mismanagement evidently prevented that dream from ever coming to fruition.