What if the Knicks don’t get KD and Kyrie?
Rumors and speculation have a way of framing narratives in a believable way. That couldn’t be more true than with the New York Knicks free agency hopes. Throughout the entire regular season, the rumor of Kevin Durant coming to the Knicks spread like wild fire. He wasn’t the only one, though, as he was rumored to find a running mate in Kyrie Irving. However, as the NBA Finals continued, new rumors popped up suggesting that Irving would instead end up on the Brooklyn Nets. Even more troubling for Knicks fans is the prospect that Irving may persuade Durant to do the same. While the team’s free agency hopes were once believed to be a “done deal,” how seriously should the Knicks prepare for the plan to get unhinged?
Let’s Talk About LeBron James
Most NBA fans will remember the “Decision” by LeBron James, a little less than a decade ago. “The Chosen” one left his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, and took his talents to Southbeach. While that may have stung for Cavaliers fans and the rest of the league, Knicks fans also felt a special kind of pain. In New York, there was an overwhelming feeling that the city had a real chance of getting James. One could imagine how crushing it was for Knicks fans to see him instead sign with Miami. Of course, the team went on to sign Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, but ultimately the duo did not work out. Thus, the Knicks free agency hopes came crashing down. As history has a funny way of repeating itself, the Knicks may find themselves in a similar predicament.
What if KD and Irving go elsewhere?
It would deal a huge blow to the fan base if the New York front office fails to bring in Durant and Irving. With trust in the franchise arguably being at an all time low, the team needs to make a big splash this summer. Of course, Durant and Irving aren’t the only superstars available this offseason. The free agency pool will include the likes of Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, and Bradley Beal, amongst others. On top of that, the Knicks can still reach out to teams looking to blow up their rosters, like the New Orleans Pelicans and the Houston Rockets. The Knicks will have their options, but it would be hard to see those options being as dynamic as Irving and Durant. Moreover, the front office cannot continue to let down the fans.
Let’s think about the Fans
At the end of the day, this sport is all about the fans. To continue to draw in support is paramount to the success of a franchise. That being said, support for New York is dwindling. The team has failed to even touch the playoffs in four years. With everyone from the casual basketball viewer to the season sports analyst, Knicks fans are forced to watch their team get criticized over and over. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the lack of success has created a climate of negativity in New York when it comes to professional basketball. Some are even saying that the Knicks aren’t New York’s team anymore, instead pointing to the Nets.
This lack of faith in the team is a result of the lack of winning. The bottom line is fans are tired of feeling like losers. No one wants to support a team that can’t get their act together. At this point, the only way to turn the tide will be to bring in era changing talent. The majority of Knicks fans believe that will be through the signing of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Thus, the organization has been put on notice of fan expectations.
The Knicks have seen better days, but the best could still be yet to come. With the off-season just a few weeks away, the front office still has a chance to make the summer count. As far as fans are concerned, signing Durant and Irving has to be the sole priority right now. However, fans should also prepare for a future that lacks both players.