We have no problem with a move to the Knicks, Kevin Durant’s father said. He was just hoping his son would stay in Oklahoma and play for the Thunder.
Following the signing of Kevin Durant, voters were left with one question: why would Durant sign with the Warriors when he could have easily signed with the Knicks? While the Knicks have an inferior roster, KD’s father, Wayne, recently revealed that he had a conversation with KD in which he urged KD to sign with the Knicks.
Kevin Durant is one of the most loved athletes in the NBA, and with the way he has carried the team, it’s easy to understand why. A lot of people love KD, but there are some that just don’t. Back in 2012, when KD was still a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, he was upset with the decision to not re-sign with the team. The play was not mentioned on any of KD’s postseason press conference, but his father later spoke out about the situation. In a recent interview, Durant’s father revealed how he tried to convince Kevin to join the New York Knicks.
Kevin Durant sought advice from an unexpected source before deciding to tilt the NBA’s power balance in July 2019. Durant didn’t receive the confirmation he was looking for in a series of furious text conversations with his sometimes estranged father. Wayne Pratt had another goal in mind than his father’s approval of his desire to join with the Brooklyn Nets: the New York Knicks.
Pratt didn’t simply tell Durant that he should switch teams. Durant’s father said that he had gone so far as to contact the Knicks’ front staff on a conference call. That didn’t sit well with the son, who responded with a profanity-laced text conversation. Durant eventually went his own way and signed with the Nets. While Pratt did not suggest Kevin Durant was making a poor decision, he did state categorically that Brooklyn was the wrong option.
Kevin Durant was just the second player in his career to enter free agency.
Kevin Durant’s career was in a very different position in the summer of 2019 than it had been three years before, when he switched from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors. KD won two championship rings and two NBA Finals MVP honors as a result of that controversial decision. But he was slammed by fans, pundits, and even current and former players.
Durant, on the other hand, was in a more dangerous situation. After rupturing his right Achilles’ tendon during Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, it was unclear if Durant would play in 2019–20 (spoiler alert: he didn’t). Durant made his comeback after a nine-game layoff due to an injured right calf during the game.
After taking over from Billy King’s failing administration in February 2016, general manager Sean Marks established a new culture in Brooklyn. The team Marks built found some magic under coach Kenny Atkinson after the Nets won 48 games combined in 2016–17 and 2017–18. Brooklyn overcame injuries and a sluggish start to make an unexpected playoff run.
Marks was planning a major relocation. Marks was interested in one of the superstars on his list, Kevin Durant, and the idea of paying Durant not to play for a season didn’t deter him. Kevin Durant, on the other hand, did not perform as anticipated by any of the experts.
Durant and Kyrie Irving were on their way to the Big Apple, but not to the Knicks.
As the 2018–19 season came to a close, it was generally believed that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a package deal.
It was widely assumed that the Knicks were in charge. Durant’s father was overjoyed. As a result, when the son asked a question, things became tense.
The discussion soon heated, according to Sullivan, Matt, author of Can’t Knick the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow.
“What do you think of Brooklyn, KD texted his father? Wayne Pratt, KD’s sometimes estranged father, was a Knicks fan, much like his agent. The father-son text exchange exploded with expletives when Wayne informed his son that he’d accepted a video-conference call from Knicks executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry, and that the Knicks were attempting to knock down KD’s interest in Brooklyn before free agency had officially started. KD didn’t believe it was anyone’s business to interfere with his personal liberty.”
According to Sullivan, Pratt’s position was obvious at the end.
KD’s father said, “The Knicks is Mecca.” If you’re going to do it, go big! Be a Knick if you want to be a New Yorker!”
Pratt didn’t get his way with the choice.
Kevin Durant, on the other hand, chose a different path.
On June 15, 2021, Kevin Durant (7) of the Brooklyn Nets celebrates his team’s victory against the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Durant joined the Nets in 2019, against his father’s wishes for him to join the Knicks. | Getty Images/Steven Ryan
While Kevin Durant’s father inquired about his son’s decision to join Irving in Brooklyn, Durant said that it was his decision. Durant, according to Sullivan, focused his attention on Brooklyn for personal reasons.
“KD wanted to reside in New York City because it was the basketball Mecca. But he identified with Brooklyn’s vibe: “cool, low-key, all-black stuff.” He’d been eyeing the Nets for years, and they’d finally taken notice of him.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski claimed Durant, Irving, and DeAndre Jordan were headed to Brooklyn little over eight hours before the free agency negotiation period began on July 1, 2019.
Kevin Durant’s comeback from an Achilles’ injury went smoothly, despite some other injury issues. Irving and James Harden, a third superstar added in January 2021, have both been troubled by injuries. The team’s first appearance in the playoffs ended in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Brooklyn’s Big Three have player options for 2022–23, while being contracted through next season. That means the championship window for the Nets may be shutting as soon as it opened.
Spotrac provided the contract data.
Kevin Durant Hits Back at Critics Who Paint Him as a Villain: ‘They Try to Paint Me as This Guy Who Is a Villain, But I’m a Nice Person’
Kevin Durant’s father, Wayne, was asked by the New York Knicks to have his son consider joining them last year, according to the upcoming book “The Decision: A Story of Basketball, Race, Power, and Personal Tragedy”, authored by Adrian Wojnarowski and published by Hachette Books.. Read more about kevin durant mom and let us know what you think.
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