Walt Frazier downplays asterisk remark, says Kevin Durant would reach Michael Jordan-LeBron James level by leading Knicks to title

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Last summer, Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier said Kevin Durant will have an asterisk by his name because he won titles with the Warriors.

But Durant reportedly holds interest in the Knicks in free agency next summer.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

Now, Frazier wants Durant to understand “I meant no disrespect”

So what would put Durant over the top? Frazier said winning a title with the Knicks — a feat not accomplished since he averaged 46 minutes per game in the 1973 Finals — would station Durant in the highest category.

“I think that’s what he needs. Especially if the Warriors win this year, I think he’d be looking for a different challenge,” Frazier told the News. “I don’t know a better place than New York where he can do it. Where else could he go to get what he’s looking for, to be the best in the game? If he could bring a title to New York, that’s going to catapult him with Jordan and LeBron, I would think.”

It seems silly Durant will base his decision on a team’s color commentator. But the the Clippers ousted Bruce Bowen as TV analyst after he ripped Kawhi Leonard. At least one team finds this type of talk significant enough to take action.

Frazier could contribute to the overall welcomeness Durant feels in New York, even subconsciously. It’s better for the Knicks if Frazier gets on Durant’s good side.

Will Durant answer Frazier’s challenge? We’ll see. It does seem part of New York’s appeal to Durant would be the prestige of winning a title there, something stars have tried and failed to do for decades.

That said, that wouldn’t put Durant in the class of Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The notion Durant would enter that discussion with a single Knicks championship speaks to how New Yorkers inflate anything that happens there – which be why Durant would consider the Knicks. New York is a place he could elevate his stature to a lot of people.