Kevin Durant is ready to be a favorite for one New York fan base and very likely become a villain for another.
On a special crossover episode of two shows from RADIO.COM'S Cadence13 -- "The Old Man & the Three," hosted by NBA veteran JJ Redick and producer/writer Tommy Alter, and "The Boardroom: Out of Office," hosted by Durant and Rich Kleiman -- the Brooklyn Nets star discussed dealing with the media, sorting out trade rumors, the Nets' new hire of Steve Nash and everything in between.
And, as mentioned before, what he said will likely ingratiate himself with one team's supporters and cause the other to act as if they never wanted him in the first place.
We'll go with the less fortunate team first: the Knicks.
"No, I never planned on... going to the Knicks," Durant said after being asked about the rumors that swirled around his free agency. "That was just the media put(ting) that out there...
"The Knicks needed a savior, you know how that goes. Every time a big free agent is up, the Knicks... are going to get him. So it just took off and then once, you know, the media infiltrated our locker room with that Draymond (Green) situation, they just ran with the rumors even more. And it just got so loud, every single day."
Durant references the highly-publicized beef with Green that took place throughout his stint with the Warriors and played a part in his decision to leave.
However, the Knicks rumors that held nearly as much intrigue as the Nets ones were never true, as Durant mentioned. Playing for the Knicks just didn't match his personality.
"I didn't want to be the savior of the Knicks or New York," Durant said. "I didn't care about being a king of New York, like that never really moved me. I didn't care about being on Broadway, like that sh**. I just wanted to play ball and go to the crib and chill, you know.
"So I felt like that's what Brooklyn embodied, and I wanted to live in New York, so I felt like Brooklyn was everything I'm about. Chill, on the low, all black everything, we quiet, just focus on basketball. There's no show when you come to our games, there's no Madison Square Mecca, all of that sh**. We just going to hoop and build something new over in Brooklyn."
It's clear that Durant sees new head coach Steve Nash as a big piece of the winning formula. I'd imagine it's not too easy for a 10-time All-Star, four-time scoring champion, two-time Finals MVP and former league MVP to improve and continue to develop his game, but that's exactly what Durant is looking to do under the guidance of his new Hall of Fame player-turned-coach.
"I'm excited," Durant said regarding the opportunity. "Any time a player, former player, gets a job as a coach in the league I'm excited (because) that level of knowledge for the game runs deep -- especially experiencing it on the floor -- so his insight for the game, his communication, how he communicates the game of basketball is definitely going to help me as a player develop and it's gonna help the rest of our team.
"Our relationship started from him playing, me admiring him as a player, and then playing against him and competing against him and finally getting a chance to work out with Steve... seven to eight years ago. Understand(ing) how his mind works for the game. And every time I'm in a gym with him, I always was like a sponge, so I'm looking forward to this.
"Always feel like I'm a student of the game... (I'm) looking forward to him teaching me some more things about it, as well."
You can listen to the whole podcast episode featuring Durant and Redick here.
Nash, a back-to-back MVP in 2004-05 and 2005-06, talked to Joe and Evan on RADIO.COM Sports New York affiliate WFAN about joining the team and coaching Durant, Kyrie Irving and others. You can see the video at the top of the page, or listen to the full interview below.