New York Knicks shrug off Kevin Durant’s ‘cool’ comments

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Head coach David Fizdale of the New York Knicks reacts against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on October 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 07: Head coach David Fizdale of the New York Knicks reacts against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena on October 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks head coach David Fizdale and Julius Randle responded to Kevin Durant’s comments on the organization not being “cool” right now.

Achilles injury or not, Kevin Durant found a way to make a headline, when he said the New York Knicks were “not the cool thing right now,” in response to the team’s struggles attracting big-name free agents. Durant and Kyrie Irving signed multi-year contracts with the crosstown Brooklyn Nets in July.

Comments like that became notable enough for some members of the Knicks to respond; it started with head coach David Fizdale, who shrugged it off as appreciation for someone, unprompted, talking about his team, per NorthJersey.com’s Chris Iseman:

“All I know is every day somebody outside our organization is talking about us, and I’m flattered,” Fizdale said.

Well, this made the Knicks a topic for at least 24 hours, thanks to Durant’s candid comments. It will drift away, though, when basketball action returns.

One player took notice, too; per Marc Berman of the New York Post, Julius Randle said joining the Knicks was a “dream come true” for him, but he did not think Durant’s comment was an insult, either:

"“S–t, I feel cool in blue and orange. I don’t know about everybody else, but I feel pretty cool wearing my Knicks gear every day,” Julius Randle said Wednesday after practice in Tarrytown. “It’s a dream come true for me. Everybody has their own opinion. … I know KD, I don’t think he meant it as a slight, honestly."

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Randle signed a three-year, $63 million contract with the Knicks in the offseason.

Whether or not Durant meant any harm by those comments, he caused a reaction from the Knicks and the fans—almost too easily. The pot-stirrer himself said on Twitter, I love that I got knicks and nets Twitter in a frenzy, make sure y’all come to the games and bring it full circle. I don’t wanna hear no bulls–t.”

The Knicks have struggled to attract big names since Amar’e Stoudemire signed in free agency in 2010. Carmelo Anthony joined via trade and extended his contract, but the team has failed to bring another player of his caliber to Manhattan since.

Changing the on-court play will take a positive step towards acquiring higher-profile outside talents, similar to what the Brooklyn Nets did in 2018-19, when they had a surprise playoff run that changed their vibe. The 2013 trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had set them back the previous five years.

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The New York Knicks have work to do to change their narrative, but they still had seven players sign in free agency; someone thinks they are “cool.”