How New York Knicks Involved Kevin Durant’s Dad to Lure Him in 2019 Free Agency

Published 09/02/2021, 1:55 AM EDT
May 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports


The NBA landscape took a big hit in 2019 when Brooklyn became a star hub. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving joined forces in Brooklyn and have been a threat ever since. Moreover, now they even have James Harden. But what was the real story behind KD’s decision?

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Durant had some internal issues with the Warriors that ultimately saw him leave them during free agency. However, the Nets were not the only team he looked at. There were rumors that New York Knicks would make a move for him, but that did not happen.

However, they surely tried to persuade people close to him.

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Jun 15, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) controls the ball against Milwaukee Bucks power forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the first quarter of game five of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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Kevin Durant close to being a Knick?

2019 free agency was a wild ride with many great signings taking place. However, the one situation everyone was keeping track of was Duran’t decision. Knicks were the frontrunners for the majority of the time, and they even resorted to tampering.

While with Brandon Robinson, Matt Sullivan spoke about how the Knicks set up zoom meetings with KD’s father before the 2019 free agency even began. He even stated that this did turn out to be tampering because it was before the free agency window opened up.

Wayne Pratt has been a life long Knicks fan and wanted his son to make the big move as well. However, Durant had his plans to join Brooklyn set in stone even while playing in the 2019 finals. There were even reports that he was really angry at Pratt for meeting up with the Knicks.

Jun 5, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) shoots a three point shot against Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) during the third quarter of game one in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

While it is true that Durant wanted to go to New York, he had other plans. Sullivan said that Durant always thought that New York City is the mecca. Moreover, he saw through with Brooklyn’s vibe and decided he wanted to play for them.

Why did KD decide to join Brooklyn?

Brandon Robinson made it clear that Kyrie and Durant were sure to be a package deal. So, what drew the two time Finals MVP to Brooklyn? The answer is the vibe it resonates.

While on the Old Man and the Three podcast, he made it clear that he did not want to be the king of New York. All Durant wanted was to play basketball and not worry about being a savior. He set well with the chill vibes of Brooklyn and felt it was the right move.

Jun 15, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets power forward Kevin Durant (7) reacts after being fouled late during the fourth quarter of game five of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

He said: “I didn’t want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York,” Durant said. “I didn’t care about being the king of New York. That never really moved me. I didn’t care about being on Broadway.

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“I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill. And that’s what Brooklyn embodied.”

Now, KD is in a great place to win his third championship. The Nets offense is looking as scary as it can with Harden, Irving, and Durant coming in healthy next season.

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Do you think they will win the championship this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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Anuj Talwalkar

278 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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