Mannix: New York Gives Durant Platform Beyond Basketball

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are both reportedly interested in playing for the Knicks, albeit for different reasons

The DA Show
April 12, 2019 - 12:10 pm
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Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are reportedly interested in signing with the New York Knicks this offseason. 

Like, really interested. In fact, the two are apparently having a friendly debate about who will sign first.

Why are they both so interested in a franchise that has accomplished so little over the last two decades?

“I think there’s a few layers to it,” Chris Mannix said on The DA Show. “In the case of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, I’m sure it’s intriguing to them, the possibility of playing together. They’re very close, and the idea of playing together is appealing to them. They have different reasons, I think, for individually wanting to be in New York.”

For Kevin Durant, the reasons are many.

“For Durant, you’ve got a clean slate at age 30,” Mannix said. “You went to Golden State, you were basically a mercenary, you got three championships. Now there’s something different to do.”

Well, to be fair, Durant has two championships, along with two Finals MVPs. The Warriors, though, are favorites to win it all again this postseason.

“On a basketball level, resuscitating the Knicks would be a huge feather in the cap of Kevin Durant,” Mannix said. “Moreover, we’ve seen Kevin Durant over the last two years really – maybe a little bit less – really start to be more and more interested in off-the-court stuff. And the platform playing in New York, living in New York, being in New York provides – it’s not insignificant. So I think that appeals to Kevin Durant.

Irving, meanwhile, is a different psychological case study, especially since the Knicks would be his third team in four seasons.

“For Kyrie Irving, I’m not Monday-morning-quarterbacking here because I said this on my podcast over a year ago,” Mannix began. “Kyrie Irving, the lure of playing in or near your hometown, the magnetism of it, it goes both ways. Kevin Durant wanted nothing to do with playing in Washington. Didn’t want anything to do with playing in that D.C. area, whereas LeBron James absolutely wanted to play in the Cleveland/Akron, Ohio area. Kyrie Irving falls in the latter category. Kyrie Irving, I think all things being equal, would really love to play for the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on that big stage. 

“Fortunately for Boston, all things are not equal,” Mannix continued. “He’d go to the Knicks – whatever that team may be – and he’d probably be leaving a Celtics team that would be, at the very worst, a deep playoff contender. So Kyrie Irving, I think, has a lot more to think about this offseason than Kevin Durant will.”