OAKLAND, Calif. — If Kevin Durant is signing with the Knicks in the summer, it’s news to him.
“I have no clue where that stuff comes from,” Durant told reporters before scoring 24 points in Golden State’s 122-95 victory over the Knicks on Tuesday night.
“I just focus on playing ball every single day. I can’t control what people say about me or what they say about our future and what I should do. I come to work every single day and life will figure itself out.”
The Knicks ended the first half of their schedule and a 1-5 road trip with their 15th loss in 17 games. They are 10-31 with half a season to go.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors (27-14) with 43 points and Steph Curry added 14 with 14 assists. Mario Hezonja led the Knicks with 19 points off the bench. Enes Kanter totaled 12 points and 16 rebounds.
The Knicks actually led 49-48 with 3:20 left in the second quarter before the Warriors went on a 13-0 run to end the half. Golden State ran away in the third quarter, building up a lead of as much as 27 points.
Why would Durant want to leave all this? And why would he want to come to the Knicks? That’s a pipe dream that can only become reality if the 30-year-old superstar decides he wants to chart an entirely new course. In his last free-agency foray, Durant didn’t even meet with the Knicks before signing with the already-loaded Warriors.
But that doesn’t stop Durant from being asked about coming to New York when the opportunity presents itself.
“I just got to do it,” Durant said about answering Big Apple-based questions. “You guys asked for me. I got to talk. If I don’t, I’ll get fined. That’s all. So I’m just trying to be as honest as I can about the question, but also give you what you need for your job, but also not say anything that’ll . . . Let me just get out of here.”
Durant didn’t have much to say about his future, but he did have plenty to say about the Knicks, who lost to the two-time defending champions on Oct. 26 at the Garden. The Knicks led by three points after three quarters, but the Warriors took over and won going away, 128-100. Durant scored 25 of his 41 points in the fourth quarter.
“Last time we played against them, the level of discipline they had didn’t last for four quarters,” Durant said. “But you could tell a young team is starting to get it and figure it out.”
Knicks rookie forward Kevin Knox, who was injured and did not play in the first meeting, finished with 12 points on Tuesday. The 19-year-old allowed himself to dream about what it would be like to play with his idol.
“It would be cool to learn [and] work out with him if I play with him and everything he can teach me, a guy that I’ve imaged my game after,” Knox said on Monday in Portland. “To be able to be around him 24/7, that’d be pretty cool.”
After Tuesday's game, Knox said: It just shows that I've got a whole another level if I want to get to that elite status," Knox said. "I've got a lot of work to do. It was good to go against him . . . He's a really good player. He's definitely just like on TV."
Durant praised Knox as well.
“I got a chance to watch a lot of the young guys in the league so far and he’s one of the guys having a good year,” Durant said. “He was injured at the start of the season and he’s coming back. Coach put him in the starting lineup and [he is] playing some great minutes. He’s really starting to get a feel for the game. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Will that future include Durant as a teammate? Could they form a Big Three with Kristaps Porzingis?
Durant, who coined Porzingis’ “Unicorn” nickname, said of the injured star: “I hope that he recovers from the injury and gets to play the game that he loves. Obviously, he loves to play and fans of New York and his teammates love having him out there. I know how tough injuries are and being away from the game for so long can be tough on the brain sometimes, especially if you love it. So hopefully he gets back on the court.”
Durant also called Knicks guard Allonzo Trier “a great friend” and said he’s glad to see the rookie stick in New York. Durant probably won’t be coming to MSG just to play with Trier, though. If he even thinks about coming at all.