Is it cool to react to a comment that you’re not cool? No. It is not.
But that hasn’t stopped the Knicks and their fans from taking issue with Kevin Durant’s recent comment explaining why he didn’t consider the Knicks in free agency.
In short, he told Hot 97, ”It’s like the cool thing right now is not the Knicks.”
Marcus Morris, who backed out of handshake agreement with Gregg Popovich to join the Spurs— decidedly not cool— was highly critical of KD’s comment, first in a tweet...
Never was a fan of doing what was cool! I love being a Knick!!! Feeling right at home— Marcus Morris (@MookMorris2) October 10, 2019
Then in his own words to Knick media...
“That’s just me personally. Me reading what KD said, or listening to what he said about the cool thing,” Morris said on Friday before the Knicks loss to the lowly Wizards at MSG. “I just never was a real fan of that. Being cool and being in the NBA. Me personally, I get what he was saying. I actually have a good relationship with KD. But the cool part about playing somewhere. Playing in all cities - playing in Utah. Is it cool to play in Utah? It’s cool to play in other places. It’s cool. I just never was a fan of the cool thing. Making a decision off of what’s cool.”
Then, Julius Randle, the biggest Knick free agent signing, chimed in.
"I feel cool wearing my #Knicks gear every day." @J30_RANDLE knows what's up. pic.twitter.com/2JxH5ixpO3— NEW YORK KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) October 9, 2019
David Fizdale was also asked about KD’s comment. He was more diplomatic ... or should we say, strained...
David Fizdale on Kevin Durant's comment about the Knicks not being cool anymore: "All I know is every day somebody outside our organization is talking about us, and I’m flattered."— Chris Iseman (@ChrisIseman) October 9, 2019
Memo to Fiz: just because people are talking about you doesn’t make you cool. Ask Rudy Giuliani.
And of course, the barely restrained Knick fans got even more crazed, as witnessed by the five one-fingered salutes from this Twitter user...
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 bullshit— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 8, 2019
But the weirdest comment came from TNT’s Jeff Van Gundy, who quit the Knicks in mid season back in December 2001.
Tell em, coach!— David Futernick (@davidfuternick) October 10, 2019
In case you don’t have time to listen, here’s his comments which are in line with the key Knicks’ talking point, that KD was afraid of playing under the microscope in the Garden.
“I don’t think ‘on Broadway’ is for everybody,’’ Van Gundy said. “Off Broadway is for some. On Broadway is for some. New York is certainly not for everyone. It’s for special players. I do believe all it takes is one great player like Patrick Ewing or Stephen Curry, the right, best player to come to the Knicks franchise, and they will once again be cool. There is no place to play like New York City.”
First, a geography lesson, Jeff: Brooklyn is part of New York City, has been since 1898 and is as cool as any place in the five boroughs. It’s not Memphis or Minnesota or Utah.
Afraid to play in the vaunted Garden in front of Matthew Modine?!? Really? Kevin Durant, who grew up on the mean streets of Baltimore and Washington, is afraid to play basketball at 33rd and 8th?
Of course, no big name NBA star has chosen New York in a decade ... despite the hype that the Garden is The Mecca (a nickname, it should be noted, was given a previous iteration of the Garden on 48th Street in honor of its college basketball offerings, not the Knicks.)
Maybe fans —-including Van Gundy— should recall how the Knicks treated Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis on their way out or how their owner had Charles Oakley handcuffed in front of 19,000 fans.