Enes Kanter is a one-man inspiration squad. The Knicks’ center showed up to Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks on crutches after hurting his hip in Saturday’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. Nevertheless, he took the court for the opening tip and played 18 minutes in the Knicks’ win, scoring 8 points and adding 5 rebounds.
Listen to Kanter describe his night and then try not to be inspired. Try it, I dare you!
“If you’re going to make the playoffs, you’re going to make some sacrifices,. I was in pain but [the doctors] just literally said, ‘Hey, if you want to play, we’re not going to say don’t play.’
“They just say, ‘OK, it’s your decision.’ ”
Kanter wasn’t particularly good on Sunday—his 8 points came on 4-9 shooting, and the Knicks sat him through most of the second half, going with the much more celebrated small-ball lineups which helped turn the game around.
So what does this mean for Kanter, who is also still suffering from linger effects of a sore back, heading into this week. The Knicks didn’t look particularly good during the few games he missed with the back problems. But that doesn’t mean they should keep a hobbling Kanter in the lineup either. Ron Baker’s return to health gives the Knicks a fairly deep stable of wing players, even with Tim Hardaway out. And most people believe that the Knicks would be better with Kristaps Porzingis at center, anyway.
But there’s just something about this dude, Enes Kanter. Listen to his teammates gush about his toughness, courtesy of Marc Berman...
“This guy came in crutches today. I’ve never seen anything like that. He was able to play, starting the game. That guy is unbelievable. He’s a warrior.”
“He’s the first guy I’ve ever seen come to a game on crutches and still start the game and he’s about to leave on crutches,. I’ve never seen that before in my 13 years in the league.”
“I gave him a ride home last night at about 3 a.m., when I got in, and pulling the crutches out of my car and helping him to his room, there’s no way this guy’s playing, but he’s a warrior,”
Enes is a mighty Turkish warrior—a Janissary, if you will—and his feats of strength get the other dudes fighting alongside him. I don’t know if it’s good basketball, but it has worked thus far. Just don’t get any more injured, please.