Rich Kleiman is an NBA agent with only one client, but he’ll get plenty of attention this summer, especially in New York, writes Stefan Bondy of The Daily News. If Kleiman, a native New Yorker, can deliver Kevin Durant to the Knicks, he might be in line for a front office job as well, as a commission.
Kleiman and Durant go into detail about their relationship in newly released episodes of the ESPN series, “The Boardroom.” Durant says he was seeking guidance with his career in 2007 when he met Kleiman at a concert. They became friends, but their business partnership didn’t happen until 2013, making Kleiman his third agent in five NBA seasons. Durant also explains that he left the Thunder for the Warriors in 2016 because he wanted “another challenge,” possibly offering hope to the Knicks that he might view this offseason the same way.
“For us, it was stepping into a new chapter,” Durant said. “Let’s see how much we can conquer this totally, all the way around, not just on the basketball court, but as much as we can do in the community, as much as we can do for our businesses as well and obviously me as a basketball player.”
There’s more from New York:
- The Knicks are two losses away from the worst season in franchise history, bringing back bad memories for Lance Thomas, who was part of the team that set that record in 2015, Bondy adds in a separate story. “Nobody in any competitive setting likes to lose,” Thomas said. “But it takes a tough-minded individual to keep focus and to make sure things are done the right way to change things around. Myself, I’ve just been constantly working and pushing the guys to have the mindset I have.”
- Coach David Fizdale is dropping hints that Emmanuel Mudiay has played his last game for the Knicks, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Fizdale kept Mudiay on the bench Friday with a sore shoulder and said afterward that he didn’t want to take the chance of Mudiay aggravating the injury with free agency upcoming. “I think about these guys’ careers from the standpoint of, we’re not going to the playoffs, this kid has now established himself and put himself in position to have an offseason where multiple teams are going to want to talk to him,’’ Fizdale said. “I don’t want to risk that after that he’s done so much to get to where he is.” The Knicks have other plans with more than $70MM in cap space, and Dennis Smith Jr. appears to be the point guard of the future unless Kyrie Irving comes to New York.
- The letter the Knicks sent to season ticket holders touting the team’s free agent prospects was a mixture of optimism and caution, Steve Popper of Newsday.