Goddammit. Goddammit goddammit goddammit. God fucking dammit.
Kevin Durant suffered what appears to be an Achilles injury in last night’s game. The real tragedy of the Kevin Durant injury is that the Knicks will suffer. Think about it. If the Knicks sign him and it’s actually an Achilles injury, Durant would most likely miss the entire 2019-2020 season. There’s no guarantee that he’ll return to form afterward. There has been a precedent set previously though.
In 1985, Knicks great, and Hall of Famer, Bernard King completely tore his ACL, his knee cartilage, and broke a leg bone, all at the same time. No NBA player had ever returned from such a devastating injury. King worked diligently and was able to return in 1987 and even made the all-star team again, with the then-Washington Bullets.
Ok, so maybe the Knicks sign Durant regardless and he works like King and makes it back to all-star form. That would be great. However, this is the best case scenario. Let’s look at the more likely scenarios:
- the Knicks sign him and he is a shell of his former self
- the Knicks sign him and he never recovers
- the Knicks don’t sign him, and he eventually returns to his former self and succeeds wildly for some other non-Knicks team
So where do the Knicks go now? Who do they sign? There are other, non-Durant options. They are as follows:
- Stand pat, draft RJ Barrett (who says he wants to play for the Knicks), and build around Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, and Allonzo Trier
- Sign two max-contract free agents. There are quite a few to choose from, and two would be welcome additions: Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving (but he has indicated he wants to play in Brooklyn), Kemba Walker (from The Bronx!), Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton (no), and some others. The studs are Leonard and Walker in my opinion
- Sign Anthony Davis, but lose your #3 pick and one of your young studs
It’s not easy being a Knicks fan. I have 1994 and 1999, but they didn’t win championships then. There are two actual Knicks NBA championships but those are before my time. I want the Knicks to win again. The NBA is a better place when their tentpole cities (New York, Boston, Los Angeles) are relevant and winning. It’s been far too long that the Knicks have been anything other than a punchline. So if you woke up today and felt sorry for Kevin Durant, please don’t. He’s won two NBA titles. If you want to feel bad for anyone, feel bad for Knicks fans around the globe. They’re the ones who are really suffering today.