In what has been the worst kept secret in the NBA, the New York Knicks are all in on attracting the services of Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant in free agency this upcoming summer.
Those plans were only speculated further after the team used a photo of Durant in a pitch to season ticket holders in hopes of an increase in renewals for the 2019-20 season.
But that has come to an end, as the team announced it has removed the photo with Durant's likeness and released the following statement about their decision.
Knicks statement on including KD’s photo in season ticket promotion:— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) February 11, 2019
“Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes, but given everything going on, we took precaution of taking the photo down. To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website.”
The Knicks aren't the only franchise to use stars from opposing teams in their season ticket renewal letters. Heck, every team does it.
As the organization states, it was a rotating image that appears on their website, but given the amount of attention it has received, it decided it was in the team's best interest to remove it.
New York hinted at their plans this offseason by trading Kristaps Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee to the Dallas Mavericks. The transaction gives the Knicks two slots for super-max contracts and over $70 million in cap space this offseason, with Durant being the prized player on the market.
NYK statement on deleted Kevin Durant photo: ‘Game action photos are used all the time for marketing purposes but given everything going on, we took the precaution of taking the photo down. To be clear, it was one of several rotating photos on the website’ https://t.co/5pmOVxw0pm— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 11, 2019
With the league experiencing bouts of tampering (i.e. the Los Angeles Lakers with Anthony Davis), the Knicks wanted to avoid it at all costs.
The Knicks want Durant badly, but it remains to be seen if the feeling is mutual this summer.