New York Knicks players are not backing down in the face of Kevin Durant’s comments about the franchise not being “cool” or the place where players want to play at anymore. Julius Randle was the first to speak out when he said he feels cool wearing the blue and orange Knicks jersey and a number of his new teammates have since spoken out.
The Knicks were touted as the initial favorites to land free agents Durant and Kyrie Irving going into the offseason but they did not manage to land even one elite level star in free agency. The former signed with Brooklyn Nets and during a recent interview spoke about the state of the New York franchise and why they are struggling to attract big players.
“They’re trying. They’re trying. It’s hard to get the best players to play here. It’s hard,” Durant said during his appearance on Hot 97 radio, as quoted on SNY.tv.
“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. I didn’t grow up with the Knicks,” he 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 to them is not as cool as, let’s say, the Golden State Warriors or even the Lakers or the Nets now. It’s like the cool thing right now is not the Knicks,” he added.
Randle, who signed a three-year $63 million deal with the Knicks over the summer, made it clear that he feels privileged to be part of one of the most iconic franchises in the NBA.
“S–t, I feel cool in blue and orange,” Randle told reporters. “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.”
Marcus Morris, who also arrived in free agency this summer, was the next to respond to the comments by Durant, stating: “Never was a fan of doing what was cool! I love being a Knick!!! Feeling right at home.”
The Knicks are being tipped for yet another difficult campaign after finishing as the worst team in the NBA last season with a 17-65 record. They are expected to have a similar record this year with the predictions reportedly coming at 25-30 win range but Randle is not perturbed by outside predictions.
“Not all, nope. I don’t give a damn bro, I’m not going to lie to you,” he said. “I don’t know what they got us projected at, I don’t know what they got us projected at in the East, does it really matter?”
“I’m self -motivated,” he added. “I’m not really worried about what somebody else has to say. This is my sixth year in the league, somebody done had something to say about me every single year, something about my team every single year. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter.”