Kevin Durant Reveals When He Made Nets Decision, If Other Teams Were Considered

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) stands on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Washington. The Warriors won 126-118. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

In a wide-ranging interview with Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Kevin Durant opened up about his decision to leave the Golden State Warriors and sign with the Brooklyn Nets.  

"If I was leaving the Warriors, it was always going to be for the Nets," Durant said. "They got the pieces and a creative front office. I just like what they were building."

He added, "The basketball was appealing."

Many thought Durant would be on his way to the New York Knicks. Owner James Dolan said on The Michael Kay Show in March that players had privately expressed a desire to suit up for the team and that the franchise was "going to have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents."

The obvious implication was that the Knicks would be in play for Durant and Kyrie Irving

However, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported Dolan had misgivings over offering Durant a max contract following his torn Achilles in the 2019 NBA Finals.

Based on Durant's comments, putting a max deal on the table wouldn't have mattered anyway.

He also addressed the rumor he and Irving had long planned to join forces when they were both eligible for free agency this summer. Bleacher Report's Howard Beck reported the two stars reached that conclusion "over a series of conversations before this season even began."

However, Durant told Haynes he waited until June 30, the start of the NBA's free-agency moratorium, to make up his mind: "That morning. I never wanted to disrespect the game by putting my focus on the future. It was always about that day, focusing on that day and what was most important that day. And throughout the season, basketball is the No. 1 thing."

Referencing his friendship with Irving, Durant said signing together with the same team "wasn't a thing we planned" and "just came together."

The Nets will have to wait to actually see them together on the court. Durant's recovery from his Achilles injury will likely cost him the entire 2019-20 season.