Kevin Durant Says He 'Didn't Want to Be the Savior of the Knicks' in Free Agency

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 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. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, file)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

There was a lot of speculation about Kevin Durant's signing with the New York Knicks in free agency, but the forward admitted he "never planned on going to the Knicks."

On The Old Man and the Three podcast, Durant told JJ Redick that the Knicks hype was a media-driven narrative and he had ruled out the team by February.

"I didn't want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York," he 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. I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill. And that's what Brooklyn embodied."

Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets on a four-year, $164 million deal.

"There's no show when you come to our games," Durant added. "No Madison Square mecca, all of that s--t. We just gonna hoop and build something new in Brooklyn."

The Knicks had set themselves up for a big free-agency haul last offseason and were considered to be in the running for Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard, among others. 

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Ethan Strauss of The Athletic reported in February 2019 that insiders were expecting Durant to move to the Knicks when he became a free agent.

As Ian Begley of ESPN reported in April 2019, "It's easier to find street parking in Manhattan than it is to find an NBA executive, player or coach who doesn't think Durant is going to sign with the Knicks in July."

The Knicks missed out on the biggest names, instead filling the roster with mid-level free agents Julius Randle, Bobby Portis and Taj Gibson.