James Dolan teased everyone… and became the punchline.
In March, the Knicks owner declared: “Look, New York is the mecca of basketball. We hear from people all the time, from players and representatives about who wants to come.”
On Sunday, Kevin Durant confirmed he’s off to the other New York team. Kyrie Irving is Nets-bound, too. And while Kawhi Leonard has yet to make his free-agency decision, all signs point to the Finals MVP ending up with the Raptors, Lakers or Clippers. Even Terry Rozier, the Knicks’ purported back-up Irving option, is reportedly choosing Charlotte instead.
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So the “who” Dolan was referring to remains to be seen.
At the time, his team had just traded Kristaps Porzingis to open up another max-contract slot. That fueled the dream of Durant — who will likely miss next season with a torn Achilles — and Irving teaming up at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. The Knicks were in the running, but couldn’t make it happen.
“We can’t respond because of the NBA rules, etc,” Dolan said in the interview with “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN radio. “But that doesn’t stop them from telling us, and they do. I can tell you, from what we’ve heard, I think we’re gonna have a very successful offseason when it comes to free agents. … What really would help is if we got a pingpong ball to go for us.”
The pingpong ball didn’t go the Knicks way as far as landing Zion Williamson. So far, neither has free-agency. As many on social media have pointed out, the joke’s on Dolan.