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Kevin Durant: ‘I can’t be recruited’

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - OCTOBER 19: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors tries to calm down teammate Draymond Green #23 after a foul in the second half of a NBA game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena on October 19, 2018 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

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Knicks owner Jim Dolan indicated he thought Kevin Durant would leave for New York. Warriors reportedly thought Kevin Durant would leave for New York. Durant might have thought he’d leave for New York.

But that was all before Durant ruptured his Achilles while trying to help Golden State win a title.

That’s a life-changing event that could affect Durant’s thinking in unknowable ways.

But as Durant approaches his high-stakes unrestricted free agency, it’s worth noting his outlook before the injury. That provides some important context.

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

Some of Durant’s NBA peers who are interested in his next free-agent destination wondered if he’s happy in the Bay Area and plotted how to pitch their teams to the future Hall of Famer.

Durant, of course, learned of these inquiries.

“I can’t be recruited,” Durant told Yahoo Sports last week. “Write that.”

Durant seems particularly sensitive about being seen as swayed by outside opinion. When Draymond Green talked about calling Durant from the parking lot after Golden State lost Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, Durant vehemently denied it. That was an oddly public disconnect between the teammates. Their heated argument in November might even heighten Durant’s resistance to the notion Green knows best for Durant.

So, let this be a warning to the Knicks, Warriors, Nets, Kyrie Irving or anyone else that wants Durant. Durant wants to make this decision for himself. A hard sell could be a turnoff.