If Kevin Durant wants to come to the Knicks, it is better that he bring another star or he will end up like Patrick Ewing, without a ring.
So says Brooklyn-born Bernard King, the former Knicks legend who played a role last season as an unofficial mentor to rookie Kevin Knox.
King, who signed as a free agent for the Knicks after starting his Hall of Fame career with the Nets, said he still believes New York is a hot spot for NBA players, and President Steve Mills's trio , general manager Scott Perry and coach David Fizdale will appeal to free agents.
"My thing was always playing for the Knicks, but it was from Brooklyn," King told The Post in a telephone conversation from his home in Atlanta. "I think … they have a group of men who clearly know and understand the game, and they are good managers, any player should want to play in a city like New York, the fans are great and now they have one of the best organizations after make the changes, why would not Kevin Durant want to play in New York? "
Durant could follow King's footsteps by leaving the Warriors for the Knicks. King, who did it in 1982, would not recommend the move, however, if Durant, 30, would go alone with a young Knicks.
"I think since they have room for two maximum contracts, he needs someone else to come," King said. "That's what you see around the league, superstars playing together, who would that other player be, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, I do not know. [Durant] He decides to play in New York, he needs another superstar at his side. That's what happened with Patrick. He had very good players in Charles Oakley and John Starks, but he did not have another superstar to play with him. "
King grew up in Fort Greene, five minutes walk from where the Barclays Center is now. He said he believes the Nets could give the Knicks a free agent career for their money after a year of playoff, given their location in New York.
"They will be attractive for a series of free agents," King said of the Nets. "They have a wonderful arena and a good coach. [Kenny Atkinson] and very talented players. "
But King said the Knicks are "a legendary franchise," which gives them an advantage. And, if you add Durant and Irving to the little Knicks, Kings said he feels they would become "a contender."
"It's about superstars in the playoffs: when you enter a closed game, you need players to control the game," King said. "New York is a big market for a superstar, with luck they'll sign Kevin and another superstar comes with him."
Fizdale said he considered King his favorite player when he grew up in Los Angeles and recruited Knick to work with Knox during his rookie season on the roller coaster.
King's tutelage paid off in Knox's rebound last month. King taught Knox in Atlanta when the Knicks visited him, met him in Boston, where they shared dinner and then attended two practices in Tarrytown.
King, who recently published his memoirs "Game Face", is a student of the game and considers scoring a science.
King, who averaged 22.5 points in a 14-year career despite the ACL surgeries, advised Knox on several issues. King felt that Knox needed to be in better shape, needed a better technique to finish on the edge and needed to understand all the exact points on the floor he could operate.
"When it was going downhill, it was fading," King said, "instead of going straight to the basket, when it gets closer to the basket, it vanishes to the right instead of going straight to the basket. to fail or score.
"I talked to him about how the floor runs, some people think it's elementary, it's not, I'm not criticizing Knox, but you can always improve the way you run the floor, it was one of the things that I did very well."
Another alarming trend was that Knox left the burning door and then disappeared in the last three periods.
"Many rookies hit the rookie wall," King said in his first public comments on Knox. "One of the things I talked about with him is to try to make the treadmill part of his workouts and that will help the level of conditioning, the treadmill was a big part of my exercise routine, there are so many talented players In the league, you have to have an advantage, conditioning is an advantage, I never really got tired because I worked on the treadmill. "
Knox was "receptive" to his teachings, King said. Three weeks ago, Fizdale worked with Knox for a week at the Tarrytown gym to criticize King's principles.
"Knox has developed," King said. "You just need to increase your conditioning."