Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Leading up to free agency, the Knicks, Warriors, Clippers and Nets all had serious interest in signing Kevin Durant. People around the Knicks felt that they still had a chance to land Durant in the days leading up to free agency.
Did Durant share that interest?
When asked on Friday how seriously he considered signing with the Knicks, Clippers or Warriors before deciding on the Nets, Durant said, "I thought about it for a couple seconds to see how my life would look in all of those places for a minute. But ultimately, I wanted to be here."
After missing out on Durant - and Irving - the Knicks pivoted to sign several players on short-term deals and inked Julius Randle to a three-year contract.
They will continue to rebuild as Brooklyn tries to reach higher aspirations with Irving and Durant, when he returns to the court.
Durant referenced Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson as one reason he decided to sign in Brooklyn.
"I was doing a lot of YouTube research on Kenny Atkinson and watching interviews seeing how he talked after the game. I really liked his approach to his craft as a coach. That drew me in pretty quickly. I didn't really do too much research on other coaches," Durant said on Friday at Nets media day. "…. But once I started getting comfortable (with) how he coaches his craft, it started to make me feel at ease even though I never had a conversation with him. I could just see it through You Tube and clips that he was pretty genuine about the game. Obviously, I talked with Kyrie and then watching the team and knowing Caris (LeVert) and all that stuff kind of combined at once.
"Obviously, being from the East Coast, it was something I was really excited about. I've played most of my basketball in the Midwest or the West Coast, so I was excited about playing just a few hours from home (in Prince George's County, Maryland)," Durant added. "All that stuff played a factor when I thought about it all, but basketball was probably the main thing."
Durant also teamed up with good friend Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn. Irving detailed his own free-agency decision on Friday. He said the death of his grandfather chose him to reconsider his commitment to re-sign with the Celtics and play closer to home. Irving offered insight into his decision here.