Fat Joe echoes the sentiment of New York Knicks fans when discussing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving’s decision to go to the Brooklyn Nets.
Like many Knicks fans, Fat Joe doesn’t think Durant or Irving wanted to deal with the pressure that comes with playing in Madison Square Garden. The Knicks are a different animal and Fat Joe is just saying the same things that many fans have argued recently.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 4, 2019
“You’ve got to understand a lot of players — and I’ll call em out. Kyrie [Irving], [Kevin] Durant, they ain’t want that New York Knick pressure,” Fat Joe said. “They didn’t want that media attention. They didn’t want Sports Illustrated right in the backyard. They didn’t want that so they said, ‘Alright, we want New York, but let’s do the lesser, the lesser of the drama. Let’s go to Brooklyn.’
“They didn’t wanna stand there. So [Carmelo Anthony], whether he won or he didn’t, you’ve got to understand he came to New York and all the blame was going on him everyday, everyday, everyday. He was taking the blame for everybody. I mean, of course he deserves a farewell, I mean, it’s Melo.”
“It definitely was,” Fat Joe responded when asked if he was taking a shot at Durant and Irving. “And those are my good friends. They didn’t want that smoke. They didn’t want to be on the Knicks and be on the back of the Daily News, the back of the Post. They didn’t want that smoke. They ain’t want it. I’m telling you they ain’t want it! They ain’t want to come to the Garden and then now you’ve got to answer for things.”
Fat Joe isn’t wrong about star players avoiding the drama that comes with playing in New York, and more specifically, for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire are the only stars in forever who wanted to accept that challenge.
However, the larger point here is that Durant and Irving wanted to go to the organization that’s in a better spot to win a championship. The Knicks are on track for their seventh-straight losing season. Is it wrong for players to want to avoid an organization that has not shown the ability to build a winning product?
With all that said, the star who eventually brings the Knicks back to prominence, much less an NBA Finals, will be worshipped like a god in New York. Brooklyn is a first-class organization and they’ll be a contender with a healthy Durant in the fold, but they’ll never hold the same place in the culture of New York City.