Nets steal Kevin Durant’s friend Royal Ivey from Knicks in parting shot

Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets have hired former Knicks assistant Royal Ivey to pair him with Kevin Durant, as…the Knicks once tried to do.

Over a year after the Nets thwarted the Knicks’ poorly-plotted master plan to lure Kevin Durant to Madison Square Garden (somewhere he had no intention of going), Brooklyn has now put one final and subtle nail in the coffin.

You remember the Knicks’ game plan for signing Durant, right? They’d unite him with Kyrie Irving and potentially No. 1 pick Zion Williamson? They had his close confidant from Oklahoma City, Royal Ivey, on the coaching staff and in place since June 2018? They’d install his manager Rich Kleiman in some sort of general manager or ownership role? It was flawless. It was without flaw.

Only Durant had zero interest in being a savior to the moribund Knicks, he’d already agreed to bring Irving with him to Brooklyn, the Knicks didn’t draft Zion, and Kleiman was never involved. But other than that!

Now, in one last devastating afterthought, the Nets have lured Ivey over to their side as yet another assistant under Steve Nash.

With perhaps the most complete set of assistant coaches in the league, from Mike D’Antoni to Jacque Vaughn, the Nets probably didn’t need to pull the trigger on this hire.

But Durant does need to be kept happy in 2020-21 now that he’ll be an active participant instead of a sideline enthusiast, and Ivey helps in that regard. He’s also highly-respected in league circles.

Plus, there’s that whole benefit of creating an official ending to the Knicks’ pathetic plots that are so last summer. Ivey didn’t fulfill his role of “KD’s Official Best Friend,” so now he’s expendable.

Come join the light!

When (if?) the Knicks somehow garner enough star power to be a genuine rival for us again, we’ll look back on this moment as a nice symbol of when the mismatched power balance was tilted as far in our favor as it ever has been.

Who knows? Maybe Ivey will lure Mitchell Robinson over here! Anyone know if he built any more long-lasting friendships over at MSG?