It doesn’t get more Knicks than this.
After putting up one of their worst seasons in franchise history with just 17 wins, trotting out a lineup that resembled more of a G-League squad, and trading away their best young talent in years, the light at the end of this miserable tunnel is now dimming.
Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant went down once again in Game 5 of the NBA Finals after battling his way back onto the court while dealing with a calf issue.
The non-contact injury was immediately a cause for concern, especially on slow-motion replays that saw the 30-year-old’s calf literally pop when planting his right leg:
A closer look at Kevin Durant’s right leg injury: pic.twitter.com/XEHPIn9wnW
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 11, 2019
Warriors president of basketball operations Bob Myers confirmed what many had feared while Durant was helped off the court: It’s an Achilles injury.
Now the NBA world waits with bated breath as Durant is set to undergo an MRI on Tuesday, though Knicks fans will be just as invested in the results as Warriors fans, who saw their team pull out a gutsy one-point win in Toronto to keep their season alive.
Durant will be a free agent this summer, beginning on Jul. 1, and has been linked with the Knicks since his expiring contract became a topic of conversation upon the NBA landscape last year.
The Knicks will have more than enough money to give Durant that long-term max contract he’s been searching for along with additional space to bring in a second superstar, whether that’s Kyrie Irving or Anthony Davis.
And it couldn’t be more of a symbiotic relationship.
Acquiring such a talent would put the Knicks back on the map after 20 years of irrelevance, frustration, and ineptitude. For Durant, leading a turnaround for one of the league’s largest teams would restore a legacy that was somewhat tarnished when he joined the juggernaut Warriors.
Now an enormous wrench could be thrown in the Knicks’ plans if Durant’s injury is severe enough where he’d miss the entire 2019-20 season.
It’s just the way things have gone for this franchise throughout the James Dolan era and could be an excruciating blow in what might become a nightmarish summer.
This is a Knicks team that held the worst record in the NBA but did so at the worst possible time as the league revamped its Draft Lottery rules to even the playing field and not reward tanking as much.
Instead of getting a 25-percent chance at the top pick, the Knicks were tied with two other teams for the top odds at the No. 1 choice and the rights to Duke superstar Zion Williamson.
While they received the highest pick among those three teams tied with the best odds, getting the No. 3 pick was a disappointing turn of events despite the prospect of acquiring a promising talent in Duke’s RJ Barrett.