A viral video taken in a corridor behind the scenes at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, has set off a wave of speculation that the next “super team” in the National Basketball Association could be the New York Knicks. If so, it would mark quite a turnaround for the Knicks who have put together just three seasons of more than 40 wins since the 1999/2000 campaign, per Basketball Reference. But the video showing Boston Celtics All Star guard Kyrie Irving in conversation with soon-to-be free agent Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors could be good news for the storied New York franchise, which last won an NBA championship in 1973.
The video, seen below on this page, has been interpreted as showing Irving — who can declare free agency after the current season and is expected to make the Knicks his target destination, as the Inquisitr reported — attempting to persuade Durant to sign with the Knicks as well.
According to Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston, the video shows Irving holding up two fingers to Durant and possibly saying “two max slots,” which Knicks fans have interpreted to be a reference to the two openings for maximum contracts opened up by the Knicks when they traded Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks on January 31.
Kyrie didn’t just tell Durant “two max slots,” right? Right??? pic.twitter.com/C6Z2sEKMHz— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) February 19, 2019
Irving then supposedly tells Durant, “It’s time,” at least as interpreted by many fans, including on the Basketball Forever Twitter account.
“In most cases, it would be a massive stretch to suggest that a random conversation against a wall at an All-Star Game could have any impact on free agency,” wrote the New England Sports Network, in a post about the video.
“But this is the NBA, where there’s no such thing as overreaction.”
Reporter Frank Isola of the sports site the Athletic wrote on Tuesday that New York was the “general consensus” among NBA insiders on a free agent destination for Durant, who is reported to be moving his business, Thirty Five Ventures, into offices in New York City.
But commentator Chris Broussard took the “Kyrie and Kevin to the Knicks” speculation up a notch in a Tuesday morning Fox Sports broadcast, suggesting that Anthony Davis — the New Orleans Pelicans All-Star center who has demanded a trade in the offseason — could also land in New York, giving the Knicks a dominant “big three.”
“If KD and Kyrie go to New York, and New York gets the first or maybe even the second pick, you could offer that for Anthony Davis,” Broussard said, as quote by NESN.com. “Talk about a Big Three of Kyrie, KD and AD.”
Whether a top draft pick alone would be enough to pry Davis from the Pelicans is uncertain at best, “and unlike other teams that are poised to be in the Davis sweepstakes this summer,” wrote NESN correspondent Adam London, “the Knicks currently don’t possess much young talent that would interest New Orleans in a trade package.”