In an all-too-familiar feeling, the Knicks’ summer was categorized by disappointment and heartbreak when they failed to land any of top tier free agents they had been pursuing for months. Immediately, the fans and community blamed the front office, who have struggled to turn the ship around.
New evidence may suggest that blame should be shifted not towards James Dolan, Scott Perry or the rest of the front office — but towards Kevin Durant’s right Achilles tendon.
In an appearance on ESPN‘s Jalen & Jacoby, Jalen Rose hinted that if Kevin Durant hadn’t suffered a serious injury, he would be the one picking the free agency destination for himself and Kyrie Irving — meaning they would likely be wearing the orange and blue.
“KD went from being the lead domino and trying to persuade Kyrie Irving which team they should play for to getting injured and having to miss an entire year to Kyrie Irving persuading him what they should play for,” Rose said.
“You clearly see who won out because one guy is going to be playing this year, another guy has to come back from injury. You need somebody to hold it down while you’re not out there, they’re the best of friends, so it makes sense for them to pair up. That’s what ended up making it be for the Nets instead of the Knicks.”
The Achilles tear Durant suffered in this year’s NBA Finals changed the course of his free agency. He’d have to sit out a year, meaning he’ll need someone to back him up and hold things together as he recovers. He would follow Irving instead of Irving following him.
The pair became friends over the All-Star break, engaging each other like “a middle school couple” according to some reports. On the Nets, they will get to continue that relationship as they form an elite Eastern Conference contender.