OAKLAND – The Knicks are in the Bay Area to play the Warriors, which means the New York media has questions for Kevin Durant.
In short, the questions are designed to pry information from Durant in hopes of deciphering his thoughts about his future upon becoming a free agent in June and whether New York is an attractive option.
“I wish it was the other way, where it’s totally about the game,” Durant said Tuesday after shootaround.
“But I get it. Our league has grown so much . . . the sexy thing is what happens in the summer more so than what happens in the season. Playoffs and free agency are the big thing now in our league. I get it.
“But for me, personally, I’ve just got to focus on playing the game.
Though Durant was cordial, even good-natured, throughout the 10-minute session, the 10-time All-Star acknowledged the rumors without revealing any more than he did when the Warriors were in New York in October.
“I just got to do it,” Durant said evenly. “If you guys ask for me, I’ve got to come talk. If I don’t, I’ll get fined.
“I just try to be as honest as I can about a question and also give you what you need for your job. And also not say anything that will . . . that will. Let me just leave (it at that).”
There are a number of reasons Durant’s name is linked with the Knicks. One, New York is the biggest stage in the nation, if not the world. Two, the Knicks have been floundering for years want to make a major move toward revival. Three, Durant’s business partner, Rich Kleiman, is a lifelong Knicks fan and has expressed a desire to someday be a part of the organization. Four, Durant has exhibited admiration of Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis, even giving him the “Unicorn” nickname.
This is enough for a sizable segment of Knicks fans to mount a campaign – including a massive billboard in Manhattan – urging Durant to sign on.
Add it all up, and speculation runs amok.
“I have no clue where that stuff comes from,” Durant said. “I just focus on playing ball every single day. I can’t control what people say about me, or what they say about my future, or what I should do. I just try to come to work every single day, and life will figure itself out for me.”
Durant has given no indication where he might go. The Warriors are in position to pay the highest salary, though other factors will be part of equation.