NEW YORK – On Wednesday night’s home game against the Dallas Mavericks, head coach David Fizdale decided to check in frustrated Knicks center Enes Kanter, who last checked into a game 5 matches ago against his former team (Oklahoma City Thunder) where he notched 11 points in 19 minutes of play.
Upon being checked into the court, Kanter approached the logo in the middle of the court and kissed it, before being cheered by the crowd for his rare playing time.
Earlier this month, Knicks coach David Fizdale told Kanter that the younger big men on the roster; Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet would receive more playing time to develop their game, over the already well developed rebound big man. This led to Kanter racking up some DNP’s for the season.
The fans (for the previous few games at MSG) have been chanting “We want Kanter!” to support the Turkish center who had vocalised his frustration with the current rotation.
After the loss, Fizdale explained that it was the team’s poor performance (not the fans’ chants) that led him to substitute in Kanter.
That’s a fan’s right to do whatever they want to do. They can chant whatever they’d like to chant. But at the time, we just weren’t playing very good basketball. In all fairness to him, that’s what I told him face-to-face that I’d do. Every chance I get to plug him in there and try to help the team, I’m going to do it. So tonight was that opportunity.Head coach David Fizdale on finally playing Kanter during the third quarter
Despite Kanter’s first shot attempt leading to an airball, he finished with five points, two rebounds and a single assist in nine minutes (solid performance).
When Kanter first revealed his frustration about his playing time, the Knicks looked to be ready to execute a trade with the Sacramento kings surrounding Zach Randolph and Enes Kanter, with the trade falling out after disagreement between the two franchises.
With all these trade rumours going through and Kanter displaying his frustration, he has reiterated that he would love to stay with the Knicks for his career, and perhaps even have his number retired there.
If they know the love of New York I have in my heart, they would retire my jersey. I have no problem with this organization. I have no problem with these players, teammates, coaches or the city. From day 1, I’ve loved the city.Enes Kanter making it clear he wants to stay in New York