“Of course the Nets got two good superstars this summer,” he told me Monday night while on a panel discussing Puma’s Clyde Hardwood Sneaker alongside Knicks legend Walt Clyde Frazier and Knicks teammate, RJ Barrett.
He was surely the team’s primary target in free agency and it was believed that he and Irving were a packaged deal.
Durant had many ties to the organization. His business partner, Rich Kleiman, the co-founder and partner in Durants The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media, grew up a huge Knicks fan.
As for Irving, hes coming off a season where once again he solidified his place among the leagues premier point guards … and also fed his reputation for being quirky and moody. It was that kind of season with the Celtics, where Irving displayed poor leadership skills and couldnt push the Celtics into The Finals. He quickly prepared an exit strategy — one that was endorsed by Celtics fans — which led him to linking up with Durant and seeking a new frontier and beginning.
Durant also mentored Knicks forward, a Seattle, Washington native, when Triier was in high school and Durant was a member of the Seattle Sonics before they moved to Oklahoma and became the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The summer was downright seismic for Brooklyn, and in time, the Nets can position themselves for a sharp rise in the Eastern Conference. With Durant and Irving, they have the necessary stars, and in Dinwiddie, LeVert and Allen, the required supporting cast. The degree of immediate improvement depends on Durants recovery, yet theres no mistaking where the empire state of mind lives when it comes to basketball in New York.
Knicks assistant coach, Royal Ivey and Durant are best friends. A Harlem native, the two were Texas Longhorns teammates in college and were Oklahoma City Thunder teammates for three years in the NBA.
Durant and DeAndre Jordan are also close friends. They won Olympic gold medals. Now the two are also members of the Brooklyn Nets.
“Maybe his heart is out of Golden State,” NBA writer, Steve Kyler told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast a bit before June and July’s NBA summer free agency frenzy.
Kyler broke down the psyche of Durant: “I want to be out of Golden State, I want to be in New York,” he said.
“Im not sold that this makes a lot of sense for the New York Knicks, but I also dont believe theyll get Kyrie Irving which is kind of a part of that deal as well. They certainly didnt get Anthony Davis.”
NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal tells me he likes what the Nets are doing. “Jay-Z gave them a little steam when he said he was the owner,” Shaq told Scoop B Radio.
“He’s going to be there with KD so they should make a lot of noise. Only unfortunate part for the first time in New York history the Knicks arent the important team. Thats kind of funny to me.”
The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant for the majority if not all of next season. In his place they will have to make do with the young squad they have nurtured into a potential playoff threat… and Kyrie Irving.
Irving is one of the latest players to join the Nets, coming over from the Boston Celtics in a move that Brooklyn fans hope will be the start of a potential championship run in New York.
To that end, the Nets appear as though they will be giving away a pretty significant gift early in the season in Brooklyn. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily nNews, the Nets will give away 10,000 Irving jerseys on October 25th as Brooklyn it takes on their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks.
The Nets certainly want Irving to know that he is important to them, and for fans understand that he is going to be just as revered as Durant in the coming years.