June 27, 2016, 12:22 pm
To the surprise of nobody, Carmelo Anthony has taken on the role of pitchman for the New York Knicks.
ESPN’s Marc Stein reports that Melo and Durant have been in contact, which isn’t all that surprising considering they’re longtime friends.
Durant has been in New York working with his Olympic teammates, so Anthony has had ample time to start selling the Knicks as a franchise on the upswing. This could be big for the Knicks, who to this point haven’t even secured a meeting with Durant once free agency opens.
Just to be clear- the odds of Durant signing in New York are slim to none, and while he won’t sign in New York even getting the chance to talk to KD represents a minor win for a beleaguered franchise. The Knicks would love to get Durant in the room just so it will appear as though they’re currently a relevant basketball destination.
Beyond the sales call, Anthony is providing some perspective for Durant as a player who has been through similar experiences before.
“Being in that situation before and knowing how much he has to think about and what he has go through, him not wanting to leave Oklahoma (after) all the time that he spent there, I felt the same way when I was in Denver, spending 7 1/2 years there and then to have to make a decision. But you leave it up to him. He’s going to make the best decision for him. I think that’s the most important thing.”
Knicks fans shouldn’t get their hopes up for Durant, but should be encouraged that Carmelo is doing his due diligence and seems excited about New York’s chances following the Derrick Rose trade. While that might not work out on the court, it’s at least given the franchise a temporary shot in the arm.