Considered a surefire lottery team prior to the beginning of the season, the New York Knicks have impressed through the first half of the NBA campaign. Though many would point to the improved play of Kristaps Porzingis as the primary catalyst for their season, it’s been the secondary contributors such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter that have made all the difference.
Kanter specifically has served as the team’s identity in a way as he brings a certain edge on and off the court. It appears as if the city of New York has embraced a great teammate like Enes Kanter right off the bat and from the looks of it, the Turkish center gives that love right back.
In a recent interview with ESPN’s Ian Begley, Kanter touched on what it means to play in the Big Apple and how he would love to retire a Knick:
But after you play in New York, you don’t really want to go anywhere else. The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, “This place is so cool, I want to retire here.” I remember one of the media guys was asking me, “Is it too early to decide because you’ve been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?” I was like, “This is the place I want to be.” You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I’m really cool with Ben Stiller.
Kanter’s early-season mix up with Cavs star LeBron James is only one marquee example of the leadership he’s shown in his first year with this Knicks club. He has quickly turned into a fan favorite with his unwillingness to back down from anyone, no matter the opponent.
Kanter still has another year left on his current contract so he still has plenty of time before being forced to make a decision. From the looks of it, the choice should be realitvely easy for Kanter. He feeds off the attention that comes with being a Knick and he’s served as a stellar complement to Kristaps Porzingis in a largely thin frontcourt rotation.