Despite the media fervor, Kevin Durant never had plans to sign with the New York Knicks. The Brooklyn Nets were always his first choice.
For the umpteenth time, New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets fans are sparring over Kevin Durant‘s free agency. Durant has said multiple times that he never really considered the Knicks and was always focused on the Nets.
The two-time Finals MVP appeared on JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and The Three, and this topic came up again.
“Around February  I was thinking I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York. That never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway. I just want to play ball and go to the crib and chill,” Durant said.
“So I felt like that’s what Brooklyn embodied,’’ Durant added. “And I wanted to live in New York. And I felt like Brooklyn is everything I’m about — chill, on the low, all-black everything, we’re quiet. Just focus on basketball. There’s no show when you come to our games. No Madison Square, no mecca. All of that s–t. We’re just going to hoop and build something new in Brooklyn.”
This jives with what we know about Durant as a person. Remember, he skipped prom in high school to go play basketball in New York. Hooping is the main thing for Durant.
He’s not one to gravitate towards the spotlight, but make no mistake about it, when he’s playing, he has no fear of being the guy. Durant is just much more low-key off the court than most other stars. That sounds more like Brooklyn than Manhattan.
Of course, Knicks fans are going to claim that Durant couldn’t handle the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. To some degree, they are right. But, on the other hand, Durant is fully capable of succeeding on any team.
It sounds more like he just didn’t want to deal with the circus that comes with playing for the Knicks. It’s not for everybody. Just ask Carmelo Anthony.
“I mean, not everybody can deal with that,” Anthony said back in December. “Not even a star, I mean regular player, role guys, just players — a lot of people can’t deal with that. There’s not too many people who can deal with what comes with that. I don’t want to say it’s pressure. Everything that comes along with wearing the Knicks across your chest.”