CHARLOTTE, N.C. — As far as Knicks fans are concerned, it was a tale of two superstars Saturday at All-Star media day.
At one interview podium was Kevin Durant, the most coveted pending free agent in the league, looking peeved and pained whenever the topic of the Knicks and changing teams was brought up.
And happily holding court 25 feet away was Anthony Davis, the six-time All-Star who recently informed the Pelicans that he wants to be traded. Davis candidly discussed the possible places he might end up playing, even throwing a few compliments in the Knicks’ direction.
Davis will become trade-eligible this summer, and it’s thought that the Celtics, the Knicks and the Lakers will go after him aggressively. The Knicks, depending on where they end up in the lottery, could put together a package of appealing draft picks. The Celtics have better players to offer.
“It’s a great franchise, playing in the Garden, the city,” Davis said Saturday when asked what he thinks about the Knicks. “It doesn’t matter, big market or small market. It’s all about winning for me. It’s about finding the best fit for me.”
Davis, who for now is stuck in New Orleans, confirmed that the Knicks are on a previously published list of teams he prefers. Also on that list are the Clippers, the Lakers and the Bucks. Davis then added a fifth team to the list by disputing a report that he doesn’t want to play for the Celtics.
Later in the day, in an interview on NBA TV, Davis extended his love to the entire NBA, or the entire NBA except for New Orleans.
“All 29 teams are on my list,’’ he said. “I don’t have a preferred destination. I just want to win. Big market, small market. I want to win. I’ve never given a destination. Anthony Davis has never given a destination where he wants to play.”
Ever since the Knicks traded Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas last month, there has been heated speculation that Durant is headed to New York. The trade opened up two max contract slots for the Knicks this summer, meaning that they can sign Durant and another star.
The trade led to so much speculation that Durant did not talk to the media for more than a week. He then lashed out at reporters after Golden State’s win over San Antonio a week ago, demanding that reporters grow up and stop making guesses about his future.
On Saturday, Durant still wasn’t enthused when he was asked a question about the Knicks and the Porzingis trade, though his response was more tempered than it had been.
“I play basketball for the Warriors and my main concern is to be the best player I can be every day,” he said. “I have no concerns over trade moves or transactions throughout the season with other teams. That does not concern me at all. That has nothing to do with me.
“I’m glad Porzingis is in a better spot for him. I look forward to Luka [Doncic] and him playing together for years to come.”
Durant also was careful when asked about his close friend DeAndre Jordan, who came to the Knicks as part of the Porzingis deal. It is thought that the Knicks will not buy out Jordan because they hope he can help recruit his friend to New York.
“He’s my friend that got traded,” Durant said. “I think he’s in a good place and understands what the business is like. We talk about life more so than the NBA. So he’ll be fine.”
Durant’s agent and business partner, Rich Kleiman, lives in New York and is a longtime Knicks fan. Durant’s business, Thirty Five Ventures, recently leased office space in New York.