Community Shootaround: Are The Knicks Cool?

For all the problems facing teams as they prepare for a new season, the Knicks suddenly have to wonder if they’re cool enough.

That was the issue raised by Kevin Durant yesterday in an interview with Ebro in the Morning on Hot 97 in New York. Durant said he briefly considered the Knicks in free agency, but not enough to conduct a “full analysis.” He also suggested that the franchise lacks a coolness factor with young players.

“I think a lot of fans look at the Knicks as a brand and expect these younger players who, in their lifetime, don’t remember the Knicks being good,” Durant said. “I’ve seen the Knicks in the Finals, but kids coming up after me didn’t see that. So that whole brand of the Knicks is not as cool as let’s say the Golden State Warriors, or even the Lakers or the Nets now. You know what I’m saying; the cool thing now is not the Knicks.”

Those comments drew a response from a couple of newly-signed Knicks, who told Steve Popper of Newsday that their franchise is just as cool as anyone else in the league. After New York missed out on its top free agent targets, its first move was to add Julius Randle, who got $63MM over three years.

“I feel cool in blue and orange,” Randle said. “I don’t know about everybody else, but I feel pretty cool wearing my Knicks gear every day. It’s a dream come true for me. Everybody has their own opinion, and I know [Durant], I don’t think he meant it as a slight, honestly. I feel cool every day walking into this practice facility, and I know for sure I’m gonna feel cool walking into that Garden Friday night knowing that’s my home court.

“I know [Knicks history] just because I love basketball. I wasn’t old enough to see the Knicks when they were really good, guys like Pat [Ewing]. I don’t think he said it as a slight. I understand it to a certain point, but us as NBA players, it’s our job to know our history and the people that came before us. You walk into Madison Square Garden as an opposing player, the energy is different from any other arena you’re gonna walk into. Whether you know the history or not, you know it’s a big thing when you walk and play in that Garden.”

His comments were echoed by Taj Gibson, who grew up in Brooklyn as a Knicks fan.

“Even when I was in Chicago every time we came back here we always talked about how special it is to play in the Garden, how special it is to play the Knicks,” he said. “Even when [Carmelo Anthony] and J.R. [Smith] and guys were here we always watched Knicks games. I always watch the Knicks, so in my opinion I always liked the Knicks. That’s just my opinion.”

We want to get your opinion. Is it a lack of coolness that prevents the Knicks from attracting elite free agents? Or is there something else that causes star players to bypass New York?

Please leave your responses in the comments section.

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37 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Are The Knicks Cool?

  1. amk3510

    Nothing to do with cool. The reason they can’t land big free agents is James Lawrence Dolan.

  2. DuffManCometh

    Unfortunately the Knicks will continue to be the Siberia of the NBA until Dolan moves on. He has become the Bidwell of the NBA.

  3. Reflect

    The only thing that makes Durant’s comments kinda dumb is that the Nets aren’t actually any better. Both teams spent a lot of time not being good in the last 25 years. It ain’t like he signed with the Heat.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      The sad thing about the Nets is they have even fewer 50-win seasons than the Clippers, who also play second fiddle to another team in a big market. But at least the Clippers have a chance to make something of themselves with Kawhi and Paul George. While the Nets will barely compete in a far weaker eastern conference even when they have a healthy KD paired with their other “star player” (Kyrie Irving).

      • IslandFlava

        Who cares about 50 win seasons?
        Nets have 2 fairly recent NBA finals, Clips never got in the WCF.
        Which means historically the Nets are way superior & better than the Clips.
        Don’t think Clips will do much better, people talk nonsense when they say AD is fragile, if you wanna know the meaning of fragile is called Kawhi… so still Nets might do better over the next 2-3 years than the Clips or may not but it isn’t a clear cut better situation for the Clips.
        The only advantage that the Clips got, for me anyway is Ballmer, seems like a great owner & by far the richest in the league, that can make great things happened for them, about the Nets… Well Tsai is not looking so good just now, right?

  4. DynamiteAdams

    I mean the Knicks will always have the big media market so I feel like as soon as they get a ligit franchise player the “cool” narrative shifts in there favor rather quickly. But rn I’d say no.

  5. Tazza

    Knicks aren’t that cool, I like that they have Barrett and Randle but I think it’s the owner and board that keeps making this team so bad.
    As for their roster I’d wait and see how how Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown play. Both players are SFs that need an extension and playing time. Maybe you could do a deal like Kevin Knox and Frank Ntilikina for one of them. Then you have a big three of Barrett either Brown or Ingram and Randle plus young starters DSJ and Mitch Robinson. You can build a culture with that and a strong team

    • IslandFlava

      Payton should be the starter not DSJ, Payton is actually pretty good, DSJ not so much, actually is pretty bad.

      • Tazza

        Yeah idm either player Payton is a good passer and decent defender but won’t score much. I really like Dennis with the Mavs then Doncic came and took over. He’s really not all that bad.

  6. metsie1

    LOL. Durant is making these comments and he will not play a single minute this season. He should worry more about getting healthy for next season rather than worry about how cool the Knicks are or aren’t. Typical self absorbed millionaire who doesn’t have a damn clue about what he is talking about.

    • jump shot

      So, Durant should have replied, “No comment.”, when the radio show hosts asked him how seriously he considered the Knicks during his free-agency?

      • hiflew

        You act as if that wasn’t an option at all. Or he could have just been magnanimous about it instead of acting like a fool. I’m not a Knicks fan at all, but that was just Durant being stupid.

        • jump shot

          You don’t agree to go on somebody’s radio show where the whole point is to do an interview, have dialogue, and answer questions, and then not answer questions… or say “next question” or “no comment”. It wasn’t a post-game media op. If you’re gonna be defensive in your responses you don’t agree to go in the show in the first place.

      • gromobradi

        He should have taken a page from the Book of Westbrook, and answer with a simple “Next question.”

        • metsie1

          How about, “I am with the Brooklyn Nets now and am happy to be here. Knicks are not my concern”. Why does he have to throw shade on a team that wanted him? So who really is being classless?

        • x%sure

          The Westbrook technique sounds more like a waste of everyone’s time than something classy.

          The questioner wanted to get an answer and Durant’s was innocuous enough… pretty basic stuff.

          • gromobradi

            To be honest, I wasn’t suggesting it as a classy answer, but as a controversial answer. The media would try to find out what did Durant meant by that. Was he mocking his frienemy Westbrook? Was he just quoting him respectfully? Or was that answer only a coincidence?

  7. Tazza

    Irving LeVert Harris Prince Jordan
    That’s a strong starting 5
    Dinwiddie Temple Thomas All solid vets off the bench
    Wilson Chandler to return
    Jarrett Allen there also
    That’s a solid teams and lots of veterans that know how to win games. Irving will have a lot of responsibility to score and Prince will need to have a strong year but I like the Nets. Sean Marks is an amazing GM, he joined in 2016 when the team had Joe Johnson, BLopez, and Thad Young. To get them from that 21 win team to a 42 win team last season it’s been great. Him and Kenny Atkinson have been awesome now is the real challenge. You’ve got a couple stars and a couple young players in an easier conference time to show off.

    • Tazza

      It’s pretty decent. Irving is a top 15 player. He’s one of the best ball handlers gets 25+ a game and can be a leader. LeVert is young and looked great before his injury (was averaging 18.5 points and 4 rebounds). Joe Harris is one of the leagues best 3 point shooters if not the best, he shot 47% from 3 last year. Prince is a solid youngster too, he’s solid from 3 and can do a little bit of everything. DeAndre Jordan is older but he’s still an easy 12 and 12 guy, a great leader, great rebounder and defender. That’s a better starting 5 than the Magic, Heat and Pistons. They also have really good depth and vets off the bench. If the Raptors or Celtics have some injuries they will go down hill quickly

  8. Jason Lancaster

    Knicks are totally rad. I know this guy Jimmy D. who plays in a rock band and has like, tons of money, and he says the Knicks are the best.

    He also told me they have the best owner. Since he’s a rock musician I believe him.

  9. KnickerbockerAl

    It’s one of the best cities in the world. One of best sports city in the world. Not only do we have some best iconic moments in sports history. B-ball history theres NYers all over the place. It’s been the city gm since the beginning. It’s the MFKn Mecca of basketball. We’re beyond cool. We support the gm, we don’t front. Stay ur ass in Bklyn. Cause you don’t get it. NYK

    • Tazza

      AD said Chicago is the Mecca of basketball and as far as the best history’s of basketball it’s Chicago, Boston and the Lakers.

  10. I really respect KD’s opinion not only because he Is a cool guy who deserves admiration for his chooses when FA, like leaving okc for warriors, but above all because going to the Brooklyn ChiNets this would be last time he could have one opinion. You are playing for the coolest Empire, kevin, good move!

  11. IslandFlava

    Knicks ain’t all that much, I agree with KD they ain’t cool, even in the 90’s they got to 2 finals but they weren’t that good neither, was all about grit not flare, I like entertainment & I must say in over 30 years of watching the NBA the Knicks have never entertained me.
    BTW neither have the Nets particularly.

  12. Theone23

    Losing isn’t cool, and Knicks haven’t been “cool” for a long time now. I have never understood the fascination with new York and playing in New York, seems like an incredibly over rated city in general and I think the only people who think everyone wants to be in New York, is New Yorkers themselves. Add on to the fact that the organization is an absolute mess and James Dolan an absolute disgrace, and yeah, Knicks are irrelevant to everyone outside of NYC pretty much.

  13. Black Ace57

    The Knicks will always be one of the most popular brands in basketball no matter what. Just because they suck that doesn’t change. The Nets will always be a hipster team in NYC and if they had a star player no one would even talk about the Nets there. I bet if RJ Barrett has a good rookie season that will get more publicity than anything the Nets do. It is what it is the Knicks are a tentpole franchise and I’m saying this and I’m not even a Knicks fan.

  14. The Knicks are stuck in the past. They still have essentially the same uniforms from when Oakley and Ewing played, minus the daisy duke shorts, and some hideous special occasion unis. Spike Lee was cool back in the 80s, now he is nothing more than a name. Meanwhile, the Nets have rebranded themselves, invested in new facilities, etc.

    The Dolan ownership is an obvious problem too, as many others have pointed out.

  15. @nbabrothers

    Players like Durant look for excuses for not choosing the Knicks because they are afraid of the media! It’s as simple as that! Durant would fold up in a corner once the Knicks lose 2 in a row and the media starts attacking him and Kyrie as to why they are on a losing streak. The next franchise player that decides the Knicks are going to be a new home for them will show they have the guts to take it in the chin.
    We will get a franchise player soon I believe, but those draft picks like RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson will grow to love being a Knick because they will see the fan appreciation when they win at the garden.

  16. @nbabrothers

    I assure you that when the Nets play at the garden this season there will be a fight which will get the crowd going and the boos are going to resonate loudly for Cupfcake and Irving.

  17. bobg529

    Durant is an egomaniac. The last time the Nets were cool, Julius Erving was playing in Long Island. They are a wannabe franchise, and Durant doesn’t have the guts to play in the garden and take the heat. So he goes to Brooklyn. All these guys are more concerned with their “brand” than they are with building something. Please tell me, exactly what everybody is dumping on Dolan for? Probably because a bunch of reporters got butt hurt because he didn’t kiss their backsides. I repeat, these so called star players don’t have the guts to play in NYC, THATS why they hide in the backwater franchises like Brooklyn.

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