There’s been plenty of concern around the Bay Area that Kevin Durant might leave in free agency this summer, which was only exacerbated by a high-profile spat between him and Draymond Green earlier this season. Since then, the prevailing narrative is that he might consider joining the Knicks and joining up with another superstar there.
Kyrie Irving is the name that’s been bandied about in these rumors, which he himself only helped to fuel speculation when he offered a rather cryptic response about his own impending free agency this summer, less than a year after publicly telling Celtics fans that he wanted to re-up with the team long-term when the time came.
So when the two were spotted having a private conversation in the tunnel prior to the All-Star Game in Charlotte last Sunday, the more overzealous segment of fans and media members immediately interpreted it as a sign that they’re both headed to the Big Apple this summer in free agency.
Irving wasn’t shy about voicing his displeasure with the whole ordeal when reporters asked him about it Wednesday, lamenting the lack of privacy in his personal life and berating the media for blowing things like this out of proportion. You can read his full comments in the tweet below.
“I don’t have a private life when I’m out there in the NBA. Somebody wants to take a video and, I mean, it is what it is,” Irving said. “I’m a human being talking to another best friend of mine. Like, it’s just crazy. This is the stuff that just doesn’t make the league fun. Like, it doesn’t make the league fun. Nobody helps promote the league even more by doing bullsh*t like that, of just fictitious putting things on what we’re talking about.”
On the one hand, Irving has the right be frustrated about the speculation surrounding what could very well be a simple conversation with a friend. But Irving is also perfectly aware of the way perception creates reality in the NBA.
Amateur lip-readers/desperate Knicks fans have tried to insist that Irving is talking about the two max contract spots available in New York, but any effort to decipher what they’re saying here is a fool’s errand. Still, it didn’t help that the pair where also spotted having dinner together in Miami not long after that.
Yet, none of it amounts to any sort of evidence of future plans, and as long as both Irving and Durant remain mum on the subject, the speculation certainly won’t stop here.