BOSTON (CBS) — We know, based on how quickly they made their “decisions” on Sunday evening, that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant knew exactly where they’d be signing as soon as free agency began. We also know, based on Irving’s latest Instagram video, that he always wanted to play in New York.
Yet we’re starting to learn a bit more about exactly how far back these plans go.
According to Howard Beck and Bleacher Report, Irving and Durant hatched their plan to join forces as free agents dating back to last offseason.
What might make this sting a little extra for the Celtics? Boston was one of the potential spots for that basketball union to take place.
“A friendship had blossomed between Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, two towering basketball talents, and that friendship had spawned a vague plan: Let’s team up,” Beck wrote. “Maybe in New York. Or Brooklyn. Perhaps in Boston, if things went well in Irving’s second season with the Celtics. The city was TBD. The goal was clear. Durant and Irving were going to play together, somewhere, in 2019.
“That’s what they resolved over a series of conversations before this season even began.”
In a separate report from the Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy, a source indicated that Durant’s and Irving’s deals in Brooklyn “were done in Brooklyn months ago.”
Irving’s preseason declaration to re-sign with the Celtics would seem to make it appear as though Boston was a legitimate option. But Irving clearly soured on the city and the franchise by midseason, which led to the change of course.
The Knicks were likewise an initial option, but they had such a poor season that the Nets became more preferable. Now, the two superstars — after a year of rehab for Durant — will get to see their master plan take shape in Brooklyn.
“This is what they plotted out together, over the course of countless conversations and many months,” Beck wrote.