The Brooklyn Nets signed superstar Kevin Durant in free agency last summer.
Does anybody else still get chills thinking about the pulsating thrill ride that was NBA free agency last summer? On June 30, however, those emotions came to a head when Kevin Durant shocked the world and announced that he was signing with the Brooklyn Nets, a team that finished as the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 42-40 record, and was finished off in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
We remember ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski’s nuclear bomb like it was yesterday.
At that moment, you could almost hear the cries of thousands of New York Knicks fans, who had hoped that they would be able to land the two-time Finals MVP. Any avid social media user witnessed the uproar first-hand on Twitter.
The Nets, however, were just getting started at squashing the dreams of the Madison Square Garden faithful. Shortly after it was revealed that Durant would sign a four-year deal worth $164 million with Brooklyn, Woj dropped another bomb on the basketball world by reporting that Kyrie Irving had inked an agreement to call the Barclays Center his home court for the foreseeable future.
Just like that, the Knicks’ master plan in the aftermath of trading Kristaps Porzingis was crushed, and what made it all the more demoralizing was that Brooklyn, their supposed little brother in terms of brand and overall history, was responsible.
NBA free agency is a hotbed for the unexpected, and the Nets’ young core certainly proved that they were on the rise during the 2019-20 season. However, not even a guru with Woj’s intel could have predicted Brooklyn landing both superstars, let alone doing so within a span of a few hours.
This might go down as a lost year for the Nets, but you better believe that they will be in the championship conversation with a rejuvenated Durant and Irving next campaign, and it can all be traced back to that unforgettable night last summer.