When Kevin Durant signed with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, the balance of power in the NBA’s Eastern Conference was due for a switch the moment he returned from injury. But if Durant’s father had his way, it wouldn’t be the Nets making that big jump.
According to the New York Daily News, a new book by author Matt Sullivan alleges that Durant’s father, Wayne Pratt, secretly spoke to New York Knicks executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry about recruiting KD to go to Madison Square Garden instead of the Barclays Center.
But Durant was reportedly dead set on going to Brooklyn by the time Pratt told him what he’d done. The book says that Durant was upset about his father’s meddling and told him not to mess with his plans.
Nevertheless, Pratt did what he could to get Durant to change his mind. He allegedly texted his son, “The Knicks is Mecca… If you want to do it, do it big. If you want to be a New Yorker, be a Knick.”
Kevin Durant’s father pushed for Knicks signing after illicit meeting with team execs: book https://t.co/XpgWQLVDzF
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) June 17, 2021
Such a move on the part of the New York Knicks could be considered tampering. But it was ultimately ineffective.
Durant stayed his course and signed a four-year, $164 million deal with Brooklyn. One year later, the led Brooklyn to the No. 2 seed in the East and their highest winning percentage in franchise history.
The Knicks, meanwhile, signed several lower-tier stars – 2020-21 breakout star Julius Randle among them – and later fired Perry. They made the playoffs as the No. 4 seed this season.
How would history have played out if Kevin Durant signed with the Knicks instead of the Nets?