Why Did Kevin Durant Not Join New York Knicks Despite Father’s Pressure?

Published 12/31/2021, 11:11 AM EST
Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) brings the ball up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


In 2019, a sidelined Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors to move to the Brooklyn Nets. It affected the Warriors team greatly and instantly made the Nets title contenders from the Eastern Conference. Having said that, his decision to choose Brooklyn might not have received the positive response one might think it did.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With New York being the main attraction, the New York Knicks became another option for Kevin Durant. So much so, that many were convinced that he was headed to play for the Knicks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Why Was Kevin Durant rumored to join New York Knicks?

Before he confirmed his news to join the Nets, rumors also pointed towards the Knicks.

While Durant might have always wanted to play with the Nets, his father wanted to send him the Knicks way. Wayne Pratt, in a conversation with Durant, seemed convinced that New York was a better choice for him than Brooklyn. Matt Sullivan posted this in his book “Can’t Knock The Hustle: Inside The Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with The Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow. 

In the book, Sullivan messaged his father, asking about Brooklyn and what he thinks. “Like his agent, KD’s occasionally estranged father, Wayne Pratt, was a Knicks fan,” Sullivan wrote.

Dec 14, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts during the first quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

“When Wayne told his son that he’d taken a video-conference call from the Knicks executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry, and that the Knicks were trying to turn away KD’s interest from Brooklyn before the free agency had officially begun, the father-son text chain blew up with expletives”. 

It goes without saying that the two-time NBA champion did not want anyone to influence his choices so much. Moreover, the Knicks’ meeting with his father was ‘tampering’ in a way for Durant. Later, Pratt refuted this, and let him know that his integrity was not compromised.

Why Did Durant choose Brooklyn Nets over Knicks?

During Durant’s interview with The Old Man and the Three podcast, he spoke of his choice. He made it clear that the Knicks were a choice the media favored, not him. It was never his plan.

The 33-year-old apparently did not want to be the Knicks’ savior, and hence opted for the Nets and their chill atmosphere. “So I felt like that’s what Brooklyn embodied,’’ Durant said. “We’re just going to hoop and build something new in Brooklyn”.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

May 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) and Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin (2) and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) react during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

How much does Kevin Durant earn with the Brooklyn Nets contract?

With his current salary with the Nets, Durant is earning an average income of $42,018,900. This season, he earned $40,918,900, with some $1, 100,000 incentive. Additionally, his three seasons with the Nets have earned him $118,989,413.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY: Five Music Artists Who Could Have Made It To The NBA

What do you think of Durant’s deal with the Nets? Let us know.

Enjoyed reading this article? Download our exclusive app to get 24x7 coverage, latest memes and social media banter. Click here to download.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Devika

547 articles

Devika Pawar is a Golf and NBA writer at Essentially Sports. A psychology graduate from KJ Somaiya, Devika has an experience with sportswriting at Republic World for around two years now. She loves NBA a little too much, and is a dedicated Golden State Warriors fan.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT