New York Knicks fans are anything but subtle. They will let you know when you’re playing terribly. They will express their undying love for you when your play merits the admiration. They will also let you know that you should leave your current team, and play for the Knicks the following year.
The Golden State Warriors will make their lone trip to Madison Square Garden on Friday, and Knicks fans refuse to let an opportunity to convince Kevin Durant to come to New York pass them over. On Thursday, a billboard was spotted just outside Madison Square Garden, the Knicks’ home arena, that read, "Can You Make NY Sports Great Again?" The sign included Durant’s Instagram account @easymoneysniper and the hashtag #KDNY2019.
After Durant agreed to a two-year, $61.5 million contract with the Warriors this summer, rumors have circulated that this season could be his last in Golden State. ESPN’s Rachel Nichols revealed on The Lowe Post podcast that people within the Warriors organization were only reassured of Durant’s return to The Bay when he told her. "I had literally three or four people from the Warriors organization call, text or physically come to me and say, "Thank you for getting him to say that on camera. We weren’t sure,'" Nichols said.
The uncertainty regarding Durant’s future with the Warriors suggests that he could be interested in starting the next chapter in his NBA career. How the Knicks possibly factor into KD’s decision-making process relies solely on his relationship with manager and business partner Rich Kleiman. According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, Kleiman is a lifelong Knicks fan who is close with the team’s current president Steve Mills.
If Durant continues to follow the LeBron James model, and go to a team that helps boost his off-the-field ventures, like ‘Bron did with the Lakers, then signing with the Knicks makes a lot of sense. There’s also the idea that Durant may want to rehabilitate his persona after taking so much flack for joining the Warriors. If KD were to take on the challenge of making the Knicks relevant again and succeeded by bringing a title to the Big Apple, he could go down in history as one of the greatest players to wear the blue and orange. And possibly most important for Durant, his Warriors tenure would forgiven and forgotten.
Durant seemed unexcited by the gesture. “I don’t really know how to feel about that type of stuff," he told reporters Thursday. "It’s cool. No disrespect, but I’m not really impressed with that type of stuff.”