Walt Frazier set it up by declaring that Kevin Durant damaged his legacy by choosing the Warriors, and Enes Kanter took over with an idea for Durant to restore his reputation.
Classic bad Knick, good Knick.
“I think to build his brand all over again, he needs to come somewhere big. And I think that is New York,” Kanter said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “If you win in New York, man, you are the king of America, you are the king of the world. Because people will love you here and people will love you all over the world. All we have to do is bring him here.”
Last week, Frazier, the Knicks Hall of Famer and the team’s lead analyst, said Durant’s accomplishments are tainted because he joined a ready-made super team. His comments inspired multiple days of debate on talk shows because, mostly, it’s dead season for the NBA.
“He’s going to be down the list for me because of that,” Frazier said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “There will be an asterisk next to his name.”
Durant can become a free agent in the summer of 2019 when the Knicks should have enough cap space to lure a superstar. Unlike this summer when Durant was also a free agent coming off a championship, many believe he will not re-sign with the Warriors, if only because there was no monetary reason not to sign long-term in Golden State. Durant had an option to sign long-term with the Warriors this summer, but instead settled on a short-term deal (two years with an opt out after one) that cost him over $5 million in salary for just this upcoming season.
Kanter, who’ll also be a free agent next summer, said he’ll work to recruit his ex-teammate from OKC, just as he chased LeBron James (unsuccessfully) on social media this summer.
“I’m not going to talk to (Durant) now. It’s too early. He has a season to finish. But as soon as that season is over – I don’t care if they’re winning or losing – I’m going at it like I did LeBron,” Kanter said. “LeBron didn’t work, he went to the Lakers, but I had to shoot my shot. But with KD, I’m going to do the same thing. Of course, I’m going to try to recruit him and bring him here. It would be amazing.”
Of course, Kanter loves attention and headlines so his very open comments about another player’s free agency is not surprising. He’s also said the Knicks would sign Kyrie Irving and Jimmy Butler next summer.
Kanter was on OKC for the first season after Durant left, and at the time was very critical of the former MVP. But now Kanter has changed his tune. At least he’s honest about the reason why.
“I’ve been hard on him the last two years but as soon as I learned he was becoming a free agent, he’s my best friend,” Kanter said. “Obviously I can’t say enough of the guy that he might be the best, one of the best scorers to play the game. Who wouldn’t want KD to wear the New York uniform? Obviously I think he’s becoming a free agent and I think we are New York. And I think we need to use that. We are the best city in the world, so I think that can draw a lot of attention for free agency.