After acquiring him in a blockbuster deal with the Dallas Mavericks before the February NBA trade deadline, the New York Knicks decided to keep DeAndre Jordan for the rest of the 2018-19 NBA season with the belief that his presence could help them attract superstars in the summer of 2019.
The Knicks believed that having Jordan on their roster would give them a better chance of acquiring his close pal, Kevin Durant, in the 2019 NBA free agency. Jordan remains in New York, but instead of signing with the Knicks, he, Durant, and Kyrie Irving ended up forming “Big Three” on the Brooklyn Nets.
The outcome of the 2019 NBA free agency broke the hearts of lots of Knicks fans, who were hoping that they could finally build a roster that has a legitimate chance of contending for the NBA championship title. In a recent interview with Gothamist, DeAndre Jordan revealed why he chose the Nets over the Knicks in the 2019 NBA free agency.
“Not to knock the culture the Knicks are creating, but we like what (Nets coach) Kenny (Atkinson)’s doing and (GM) Sean (Marks)’s been awesome and the organization, from top to bottom, has been great,” Jordan said. “So you want to be a part of something like that, especially when you have a chance to play with other great players and build something.”
— Gothamist (@Gothamist) July 26, 2019
Comparing their performances and the culture they built in the past years, it’s definitely easy to understand why DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant chose the Nets as their destination in the 2019 NBA free agency, and not the Knicks. While the Knicks finished the 2018-19 NBA season as one of the worst NBA teams in the league, the Nets have managed to reach the Eastern Conference Playoffs, despite not having a legitimate NBA superstar on their roster. Also, as of now, the Nets obviously have a better supporting cast to surround Jordan, Irving, and Durant.
“We’ve got a lot of talent on this team,” Jordan said. “You know obviously Kevin [Durant] had a tough injury, he’s going to be out for a while, but he’s progressing great, he’s recovering fast, we’ll be even better when we get him back and healthy.”
The successful acquisition of DeAndre Jordan, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant have undeniably turned the Nets from a mediocre team in the league to a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. However, Nets fans will need to wait a little longer to see the team at full strength since Durant is expected to spend most of the 2019-20 NBA season recovering from an injury.