Doc Rivers Thought Kevin Durant Would Go to Knicks, Be 'King of New York City'

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2020

FILE- In this March 10, 2020, file photo, Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant watches during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles. Durant is among the four Brooklyn Nets who have tested positive for the new coronavirus.  A backlash roiled across social media Wednesday, March 18, as several celebrities and professional athletes revealed that they had been tested for the coronavirus, even when they didn’t have a fever or other tell-tale symptoms. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Like many fans and analysts last year, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers thought Kevin Durant was going to join the New York Knicks in free agency.

Appearing on the podcast The Boardroom with Rich Kleiman, Rivers said he felt Durant would sign with the Knicks and become "the king of New York City."

During the 2018-19 season, rumors swirled that Durant was going to leave the Golden State Warriors following the season, and the Knicks gained steam as a potential landing spot.

One NBA player agent told The Athletic's Frank Isola in December 2018 that "everyone" was saying the Knicks were seriously in play for Durant.

However, that didn't pan out for the Knicks, who saw Durant team up with Kyrie Irving to sign with the Brooklyn Nets in July 2019.

In a radio interview with New York's Hot 97 last October (h/t ESPN), Durant said he "didn't really do any full analysis" on the Knicks ahead of free agency and said the organization "is not as cool" to today's players because of its lack of success over the past two decades.

The Knicks finished the 2019-20 season last in the Atlantic Division with a 21-45 record. They have missed the playoffs in each of the past seven years.