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Kevin Durant Says It's a Blessing to Play Basketball in New York

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant is teasing Knicks fans again, but he’s really just making a broad statement about the history of New York City basketball.

Attempting to deflect the conversation away from his impending free agency, Durant spoke to New York reporters ahead of the Thunder’s matchup with the Knicks.

Durant talked about the “blessing” that is playing in Madison Square Garden, and acknowledged that some of his favorite basketball memories were forged in New York City.

A hint of hope for Knicks fans right?

They link everybody with New York City,’’ Durant said after the Thunder’s shootaround at the Garden. “It’s one of the greatest cities in the world. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a great city. Great place to visit, great place to live, I’m sure. But they link everybody, not just me.

“I spent some nice time up here playing basketball in New York City. Some of the most memorable times in my life was coming up here, playing outside, just getting the pure love of the game up here. I remember that, always going to remember that the rest of my life and tell my kids about that when I get older. I come from Maryland. We know how big basketball is here.

“Of course I enjoy playing here and the Garden. Every movie you watch, you had a scene playing basketball in the Garden. Everything reverts back to being in the Garden, whether [it’s] musicians, basketball players. To play here is just a blessing.’’

KD has been linked to teams like the Knicks, Warriors, Lakers, his hometown Wizards and, of course, the Thunder for the 2016 NBA Free Agency period. 

“The season moves along so quickly,’’ Durant said. “Every chance I get alone, I’m either on the plane [or] in the city thinking about the game the next day. I can’t totally just say I haven’t totally thought about it at all, but I haven’t sat down and put a lot of time into what I’m looking for. I’ve been focusing on the season and teammates and how I can be better as a player and leader. Everything else comes after that and the season.’

“I haven’t thought about that. I’m enjoying every moment, and told that to myself before the year. It’s easy for me to stray off the path and think about the future. I pray when I get out of bed to stay in the moment and enjoy the moment. This stuff goes by quick. It’s my ninth season, and I can remember my first game at Madison Square Garden like it was yesterday.

“We’ll worry about that stuff when I get there. I know that’s what people want to hear — the information [on my future]. I’ll tell you everything you need to know when that time comes.’’

He’s right in that assessment. All of the true speculation is a long time away, with the playoffs being the biggest deciding factor.

-- Glenn Erby

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