Even though he was stationed in the Hamptons during his free agent meetings in the summer Kevin Durant wasn’t interested in meeting with the New York Knicks.
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant was brutally honest when asked why he didn’t meet with the New York Knicks during free agency.
Durant explained his apparent reasons to Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News.
“Uh, because I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to lead anybody on. I got a lot of friends in the league. I got calls throughout the summer. But I made the best decision I wanted to make, the best decision for me, I’m happy I’m here. All that stuff is in the past. Melo and I remain great friends. That’s what’s most important. We didn’t let that get in between the friendship.”
Per Bondy, Knicks GM Steve Mills had a different story in July.
Mills said that the Knicks had the option of meeting with Durant even though they didn’t fit Durant’s criteria of a contending team.
Mills stated that the point of the meeting would be to develop a relationship with Durant should he become a free agent again next summer. Carmelo Anthony tried to get the forward, who he’s friends with, to come to the Knicks but it didn’t work.
Per Bondy, Durant said that he never thought about the Knicks because, “[He] thought about the teams that [he] met with, that’s who [he] sat down with.”
Durant had met with the Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Los Angeles Clippers and listed to the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics. He signed a two-year deal with the Warriors that has an opt-out option after this season.
The Knicks are 14-11, which is the best start to a season they’ve had under Phil Jackson, and Durant told Marc Berman of The New York Post he isn’t surprised.
“I knew they were going to be pretty good this year with the amount of talent they had on their team: Porzingis coming to his own, you know what Melo does.”
Durant, the one who dubbed Kristaps Porzingis “the Unicorn,” praised Porzingis again on Thursday.
“Yeah, I take full credit for that. I’ve seen someone else use it,” he said. “But for a guy who can shoot the three, he’s moving really well right now. Put the ball on the floor. Get to the rim. Shoot the three. Shooting all types of shots off the catch. He’s expanding his game, man. You can really appreciate that. And he’s tough. He doesn’t back down from anybody. So you can see why he’s going to be a superstar in this league.”
Durant has averaged 25.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists this season.
The Warriors play the Knicks Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.