Kevin Durant
(AP Photo/John Hefti)

The Summer of 2019 is one of the most critical in New York Knicks history and the reasons Kevin Durant should come east are many.

It’s been well documented that this summer is going to be huge for the New York Knicks. The Knicks are hoping to land the No. 1 overall pick to have an opportunity at Duke sensation Zion Williamson. They’re also looking to land two superstars in free agency, with Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant serving as the top priority.

Interestingly enough, the reasons are many as to why Durant should come east.

Chance To Repair Image

When Durant decided to take his talents to the Bay Area in 2016, his image took a significant hit. To this very day, his image is still being dealt blows from fans, his peers, the media, and legends. Durant went to a team that not only beat him, but won a championship without him.

However, he can start the damage control this summer by taking the Knicks challenge.

If Durant goes through with it, which is what most are expecting him to do, that will be huge for his image and brand. Knicks fans would be ecstatic to have a top three player in the NBA coming their way and it would start to quiet down the narrative that he takes the easy way out.

Durant Would Be The Guy For The Knicks

Even though Durant has said before that he wants to be on a team with players with ”equal footing,” he still wants to be considered the best. Joining the Knicks this summer would put him on the path to be the best player in the league. Outside of his rookie year in Seattle, he’s played with at least one NBA All-Star.

Even though he hasn’t publicly admitted it, he might be tired of being in the shadow of another star.

Regardless of who the Knicks eventually snag in free agency, Durant would know front day one that he’s the guy, something he’ll never be in Golden State (from a clear-cut standpoint). That’s probably factored into his moodiness this season. Durant wants to be and feel important along with people recognizing his impact on the floor.

The Knicks offer Durant the chance for that to come to fruition.

Getting The Validation He's Been Seeking

Despite winning two championships and two NBA Finals MVP Awards with the Warriors, Durant still isn’t getting the validation he’s seeking. He thought besting LeBron James in the past two NBA Finals would flip the script in his favor. However, that hasn’t been the case.

It’s pretty much the same narrative that’s been put out there since joining the Warriors; Durant needs Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to win championships. A part of him deep down is probably disgusted at that same old story. The Knicks are the perfect situation for him to change things and get the validation he’s seeking.

The difference this time for Durant would be that he would join a Knicks franchise that truly needs him. He wouldn’t be playing for a team that has basically said to his face that they can win championships without his services. Durant would also be able to play his game and start proving people wrong.

Durant Can Take On The Challenge The Knicks Present

From a challenge and legacy standpoint, the Knicks can provide that for Durant. He feels he’s the best player in the NBA while most dismiss the notion. If Durant comes to New York and takes on the challenge of bringing the bright lights back to Madison Square Garden, it would be huge for his legacy.

Most stars have run away from that challenge; New York isn’t for everybody. But if Durant decided to take on the challenge and becomes the leader the Knicks need, the narrative would slowly start changing. Obviously, the media is going to be a challenge since New York has the largest media market in the world. However, Durant would have to understand for day one that it comes with the territory of playing in New York City.

Yeah, Durant has said in the past that he doesn’t see himself as a leader, but for him to find validation within himself and his game, he has to leave his comfort zone. When you watch Durant play, his game screams “alpha.”

The challenge to win without his Golden State teammates will be in front of him this summer. The challenge to repair his image will be there as well. That challenge for Durant will come from the Knicks and the brand that’s still an advantage over the Brooklyn Nets.

Kevin Durant has one last chance in his prime to take on a challenge that would boost his legacy. The only question now is, “Will he throw caution to the wind and go for it?”