Superstar Kevin Durant’s free agency decision last year was one of the most anticipated moves of the entire offseason. In what was a more surprising decision to most, Durant elected to sign with the Brooklyn Nets. His contract, at four years and 164 million dollars, was the max that the Nets could offer him. Now, one year later, Durant revealed that signing with the Knicks was never really a consideration for him.
On JJ Redick’s The Old Man and the Three podcast, Durant revealed that he had ruled out the Knicks by February of that same year and that the idea of him going to New York was solely coming from the media.
“I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York,” said Durant. “I didn’t care about being the king of New York. That never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway. I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill. And that’s what Brooklyn embodied.”Kevin Durant speaking on his decision to sign with the Nets
Durant went on to talk about how he didn’t want the negative attention surrounding the Knicks franchise to be an environment he was playing in. His attraction to Brooklyn was, “we just gonna hoop and build something new in Brooklyn.”
It is hard to blame Durant’s decision after watching the Knicks franchise for the last few years. Under the catastrophic management of owner James Dolan, the Knicks have missed the playoffs seven consecutive years. Some of his worst moves to date have been trading star power forward to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for guard Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan (now apart of the Nets), Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks. What makes that deal look worse is the fact that the Knicks could’ve drafted Smith Jr. with their first-round pick two years before but elected for Frank Ntikina, who has also underachieved.
Brooklyn’s 2021 Season Prospects
Durant will debut with the Nets next season after sitting out all of this season recovering from a torn Achilles. He will play alongside co-star and long-time friend Kyrie Irving, coached by former NBA legend and newly hired head coach Steve Nash.
The Nets have the right balance of star power and complementary pieces: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and sharpshooter Joe Harris figure to be big pieces in a potential championship run for the Nets this coming season.