The Knicks’ players and coaches had to answer a few more questions than usual Friday in the wake of the stunning Kristaps Porzingis trade, and most of them handled the task diplomatically. Head coach David Fizdale reiterated that Kristaps was always professional in his rehab and his behavior toward the team, and expressed regret that he never got to coach the Latvian big man on the court. Likewise, Mario Hezonja responded that he was sad he’d never get the chance to play alongside Porzingis.
And then there was Enes Kanter. Prior to the big trade, Kanter was the team’s chief malcontent, as well as the go-to quote for the New York press. Something tells me that he misses being the center of attention. Kanter’s statement, via Marc Berman, make it clear that Kristaps was frustrated with the Knicks and their treatment of ... Enes Kanter.
While Kanter said he couldn’t reveal any secrets, he gave away hints, admitting four years of losing got to Porzingis and the Latvian also didn’t like the Turkish center’s treatment by coach David Fizdale.
“He was frustrated for me, too,’’ Kanter said. “He was frustrated at how I was getting treated. He actually wanted to go to lunch with me but the trade happened. He was so frustrated because I was so frustrated. He was texting me a lot to stay strong.’’
Kanter has been steadfast in his belief that Fizdale’s preference for young players and future development has been costing the team wins (despite all statistical evidence to the contrary). Watch now as disgruntled center now deftly slips his own beef with Fizdale into the mix:
“Of course it will affect a player, for sure,’’ Kanter said. “But every time I was out there I want to win. I don’t care where we are. You want to look at [a young player], send him to the G-League. This isn’t the place to look. He was getting frustrated and he was seeing all the losses.’’
There you have it: Kristaps was frustrated with all the losing, and all the losing stemmed from Fizdale playing young guys over Kanter.
I’ve witnessed some self-absorbed athletes in my many years as a fan, but Enes Kanter truly takes the cake. This dude has never met a topic he couldn’t make about himself.
By the way, Fizdale actually played Kanter on Friday night, and Kanter didn’t exactly distinguish himself, shooting 3-8 for 6 points. The Celtics murdered New York in the second half with him on the court. Let’s check the plus-minus for the Knicks’ three centers, shall we?
- Luke Kornet: -3 in 16 minutes
- Mitchell Robinson: +1 in 18 minutes
- Kanter: -12 in 13 minutes
In conclusion, please get off my team, Kanter.