All-Star Weekend showed why Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving should team up
During All-Star Weekend, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving shared several light moments with each other both on the court and off, prompting many to theorize that the two plan to team up in the offseason:
all this all-star weekend did was confirm Kevin Durant and Kyrie are going to link up. the signs are all there. pic.twitter.com/xhb7pXlb1G
— Bruh Report (@BruhReport) February 18, 2019
It seems weird for any NBA great to leave behind the chance to four-peat, which the Golden State Warriors will have a chance to do if they win the 2019 NBA Finals. However, the NBA has seen stranger things happen, and there has been plenty of smoke surrounding the possible exit of both stars. At this point, it seems like most people think Durant will bolt this offseason and head to the New York Knicks, with Irving potentially joining him.
The star power of Irving and Durant would revive New York basketball in a way acquisitions like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire did not.
For Durant, there would be a lot of risk in abandoning a franchise stacked with All-NBA talent to join a franchise known for its dysfunction. Even if Golden State loses DeMarcus Cousins, they would still be in great shape with Curry, Thompson, Green, and Durant.
But Durant isn’t loved by Warriors fans like Curry is, and it seems like he feels he isn’t getting enough credit for his consecutive NBA Finals MVPs. Winning a title and Finals MVP in New York would make Durant a hero who would forever be worshiped by Knicks fans.
Think of LeBron James’ decision in 2010. James became a villain in the eyes of many fans. Upon returning to Cleveland in 2014 and then winning a title in 2016, James became the hero who brought a disgraced franchise to glory. If Durant could perform a similar feat with the Knicks with Irving at his side, then it would further solidify his NBA legacy.
However, the Warriors have been to the Finals with or without Durant since LeBron James left the Heat for the Cavs. If James’ Lakers build a threatening roster before the 2019-2020 season by acquiring Anthony Davis and/or another star, Durant may opt to face him later in the playoff picture by moving out East.
The notion of Durant and Irving building a championship core in the East merely one year after LeBron James left could be appealing. No team without James on the roster has represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals since the 2010 Boston Celtics. Adding two explosive players to New York would make the Knicks marketable again. Talent would come to the city looking to play for a title, despite the locker room issues that have surrounded the Knicks, Irving, and Durant over the last couple of years.
The Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and Milwaukee Bucks are all looking to capitalize on the wide-open East, but there is no clear-cut leader. The Knicks would instantly enter the conversation for one of the best teams in the East if Durant and Irving went there, and they’re also in line to have a top draft pick. Imagine if Zion Williamson also joined them in New York, or what if the Knicks traded that pick as part of a massive Davis trade package?
This is all crazy to think about and feels like a long shot, but there are some signs suggesting it could happen despite both players already being on loaded teams. Durant has shown himself to be a trailblazer while Irving is a quirky guy in his own right, so don’t rule this out.