Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shocked the NBA world in 2019 when they decided to team up in New York, joining the Brooklyn Nets. They were expected to go to the Big Apple that year, but not to Brooklyn. In fact, plenty of people believed they would become Knicks.
Well, the All-Star superstars had different plans, going to the Barclays Center to make the Nets instant contenders. Before that, people tried to persuade KD to join the Knicks, including his father. Matt Sullivan writes in his book, “Can’t Knock The Hustle: Inside The Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with The Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow" that Wayne Pratt wanted his son to become a Knickerbocker.
“KD texted his dad: What you think about Brooklyn?” Sullivan wrote in his new book. “Like his agent, KD’s occasionally estranged father, Wayne Pratt, was a Knicks fan. When Wayne told his son that he’d taken a video-conference call from the Knicks executives Steve Mills and Scott Perry, and that the Knicks were trying to turn away KD’s interest from Brooklyn before free agency had officially begun, the father-son text chain blew up with expletives. KD didn’t think it was on anyone to mess with his personal freedom.
“Plus, this Knicks meeting seemed to be a violation of the NBA’s rules against tampering, to “entice, induce or persuade” one player under contract to sign somewhere.”
After a frustrated Durant confronted his father, it led to a heated exchange.
“Let me explain one f****** thing to you, his dad responded,” Sullivan wrote. “Don’t you ever question my integrity. There’s nobody more important in this world when it comes to you THAN YOU.}
Well, why can’t I do something different?
The Knicks is Mecca, KD’s dad declared. If you want to do it, do it big! If you want to be a New Yorker, be a Knick!”
Pratt tried everything to convince his son to take a different path, even bringing Kyrie Irving's name up. He asked Durant if he was making a decision for himself or that was Kyrie speaking for him.
“New York City was the Mecca of basketball, and KD wanted to live there. But he felt like Brooklyn was his vibe: “chill, on the low, all-black everything.” He’d been eyeing the Nets for years now, and they him,” Sullivan added. “Dad shot back: Are you doing this just for Kyrie cuz he your buddy?
No, KD replied. He was making this decision for himself.”
As we all know, Durant doesn't care about what other people think. He makes the best decision for him regardless of what everybody else thinks. He did it in 2016, joining the Golden State Warriors before doing the same in 2019.
His first season with the Nets ended with a second-round elimination against the Milwaukee Bucks. KD was helpless without Kyrie and James Harden, losing the series in seven games. They'll try to get revenge next season and prove to everybody that joining the Nets was the best decision.