Forget billboards and celebrities, the Knicks' best chances of luring Kevin Durant to New York might be with assistant coach Royal Ivey.
Ivey, who grew up in Queens and was a standout player at Cardozo High School, is exceptionally close with the Warriors All-Star, according to legendary Cardozo basketball coach Ron Naclerio.
"Kevin trusts Royal more than his own brother," he told the New York Post on Tuesday.
Naclerio said the two go back to when Durant played at the University of Texas, Ivey's alma mater, and have grown close since -- with Durant being the godfather to Ivey's daughter.
They played together for three seasons at Oklahoma City and even got together over the summer at the University of Texas to play pickup with T.J. Ford and other Texas guys.
Naclerio believes that relationship could factor into Durant's free agency next summer.
"I know Royal will go out of his way to try to convince Kevin," Naclerio said. "To stay in Golden State, you'll win an NBA championship, but that window will close. Unless you do something great away from Golden State, there's always people who will say they should put an asterisk by his name. But if you do it in New York, forget about it. Royal is smart enough to do that.
"Kevin being in a big market now, he's not going to LA. He wants a big market, and knowing this could be the last contract, New York's got to be on the list. Kevin feels comfortable around Royal."
However, Ivey was down this road in 2016 as an assistant coach for the Thunder's G-League team, OKC Blue, and felt pressure from management to keep Durant in Oklahoma City.
"Royal was nervous and felt weird about it," Naclerio said. "He's Kevin's friend and wanted to do right for a friend. But he's also an employee of the Thunder. He's got to do right by them. He was like, 'Oh my God.' Sometimes you get stuck behind a rock and a hard place."