Last year, Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in free agency after completing three ultra-successful seasons with the Golden State Warriors. However, his Achilles injury sidelined him for the entire 2019-20 season.
His recovery was further delayed after he contracted COVID-19, putting all rumours of his return at the NBA bubble in Orlando to rest.
During a recent interview, Kevin Durant revealed why he chose to sign with the Brooklyn Nets and not the New York Knicks in what dampened the hopes of everyone in the Big Apple pining for Durant to be the franchise’s saviour.
Kevin Durant on why he chose to sign with the Nets and not the NY Knicks
In January 2019, former NY Knicks president Steve Mills traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in an effort to clear cap space for Durant and possibly another partner.
Durant (and Kyrie Irving), however, ended up signing with the Nets. While talking to JJ Redick on the Old Man and the Three podcast, Durant revealed that in February 2019, he was thinking about how he did not want to be “the saviour of the Knicks or New York”.
The 31-year-old star added that the thought never moved him, he never cared about “being on Broadway” and was only there to “play ball and chill”.
“So I felt like that’s what Brooklyn embodied,’’ Durant said. The two-time NBA champion has previously revealed that he has wanted to live in New York and he thought the Nets were all he was bout – “chill, on the low, all-black-everything”. He further explained that he and the Nets are quiet and only focus on basketball. “We’re just going to hoop and build something new in Brooklyn.”
Speaking about the countless rumours about him going to the Knicks, Durant clarified that he never planned to go to the Knicks. “That was just the media putting that out there,” Durant said, speaking how he did not sign a three-year deal in 2018.
According to Durant, the rumours increased after his one-year deal. “Knicks being the saviour, you know how that goes. Every time a big free agent is up the Knicks are going to get him. So it just took off.” Recent reports suggest that the Knicks are interested in Toronto Raptors’ Fred VanVleet, along with Carmelo Anthony. Melo spent seven seasons with the NY Knicks and is still one of the franchise’s most successful players in history.
Kevin Durant on the Nets hiring Steve Nash
On the same podcast, Durant stated that he is excited to play under Steve Nash, who the Nets hired despite him not having any coaching experience. Durant believes the NBA icon has insight and is looking forward to Nash teaching him some things. Durant and Nash go way back and shared a good bond during Durant’s time with the Warriors, where Nash was a consultant.