Nets' Kevin Durant Says Knicks Fans Hate Him, Kyrie Irving for Not Joining Team

Doric SamApril 7, 2022

Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) gestures after making a three-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in New York. The Nets won 110-98. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

After leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 110-98 victory over the crosstown rival New York Knicks on Wednesday, Kevin Durant said he wasn't surprised that the Madison Square Garden crowd was unhappy with him and his teammates.

Durant told reporters after the game that the decision he made with Kyrie Irving to sign with the Nets over the Knicks is something that fan base won't get over anytime soon.

"We're both in the city. You know how much Knicks fans don't like us," Durant said. "Especially now in this era of the Nets, us not choosing the Knicks, me and Kyrie. So it definitely adds something to the rivalry."

Durant and Irving signed with Brooklyn together in the 2019 offseason. Prior to their free agency, there was rampant speculation that the two of them would join forces on the Knicks, but they ended up choosing the other team in New York.

Unsurprisingly, the decision had massive ramifications for the Knicks. New York has continued to fail to attract any big-name free agents in recent years. After making the playoffs last season, the Knicks (35-45) had a disappointing year and have been eliminated from postseason contention.

Knicks fans got a glimpse of what could've been as Durant had a triple-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists while Irving added 24 points. The Nets swept the four-game season series and have extended their winning streak against the Knicks to seven.

The Nets (42-38) are locked into a spot in the play-in tournament, but they are still considered one of the top contenders in the East, with Irving and Durant leading the way.

Durant said he hopes the rivalry between the Nets and Knicks continues to grow even after he's no longer with Brooklyn, so he's enjoying it while he can.

"No matter who's on the team, I think it'll always be like that in this city," Durant said. "So it's good to be a part of this, it's a fun rivalry. Hopefully, it continues to build, and we more and more animosity between the fan bases, it's gonna be good for the game."