Kevin Durant broke New York Knicks fans’ hearts when he signed with the Brooklyn Nets this offseason and he now says that he doesn’t see the Knicks as a strong brand.
Durant appeared on HOT 97’s Ebro in the Morning, a radio show based in New York City.
“I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players who, in their lifetime, don’t remember the Knicks being good,” Durant said. “… I’ve seen the Knicks in the Finals, but kids coming up after me didn’t see that. That whole brand of the Knicks to them is not as cool as let’s say the Golden State Warriors or even the Lakers or Nets now. The cool thing right now is not the Knicks.”
Durant’s comments aren’t meant to be disrespectful to the Knicks, as he is just speaking honestly about how the team is viewed today by a younger player.
Durant and his Nets’ teammate Kyrie Irving were linked to the Knicks in rumors throughout last season because of all the money the Knicks had available, but the rumors obviously proved to be false.
Neither Durant nor Irving ever seemed to seriously consider signing with the Knicks, as New York basketball is seeing a shift from one team to the other.
The Knicks have made the playoffs just six times since 1999, when they made the NBA Finals, with their last playoff appearance in the 2012-2013 season.
They have also been viewed as a poorly-run franchise over the last couple of decades and their team governor has been criticized for being one of the worst at running a franchise in professional sports.
After they missed out on Durant and Irving, the Knicks went out and signed a bunch of players including Julius Randle, Bobby Portis, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Reggie Bullock and Wayne Ellington.
Those players are mostly veterans with the exception of Randle, Portis and Payton, but they do not have a true star player.
The Knicks once again don’t have many expectations coming into the season, while the Nets are considered probable to make the playoffs, even without Durant for the entire season as he recovers from his Achilles rupture.