Enes Kanter kisses Knicks emblem after getting uncommon shot — ‘I simply wished to indicate my love’

NEW YORK — Center Enes Kanter kissed the Knicks emblem on the Madison Square Garden court docket when he checked into Wednesday evening’s recreation, a gesture he later stated was achieved to thank followers for his or her assist throughout his latest benching.

“I just wanted to show my love,” stated Kanter, who hadn’t performed within the Knicks’ earlier 4 video games. “Obviously, on the court and off the court I’ve been having a very rough time the last three weeks with Turkey issues and basketball issues. The support that they are showing just meant a lot to me. I wanted to give back a little kiss to them.”

Kanter entered the sport halfway by way of the third quarter after a loud contingent of followers chanted, “We want Kanter,” with New York down by double digits.

He waved to the gang upon getting into and air-balled his first try.

“It was so much pressure,” Kanter stated. “I just wanted to go out there and show the fans some of the love. Of course, I didn’t play how many games, so I was nervous.”

Earlier this month, Knicks coach David Fizdale instructed Kanter that the staff would play younger facilities Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet forward of him. Kanter has been vocal about his frustration for the reason that demotion and has alluded to the potential of being traded or purchased out by New York within the close to future.

Kanter’s unsure future was a part of the rationale he determined to kiss the court docket Wednesday evening.

“I was planning this for a long time. I was just waiting to get back in,” stated Kanter, who completed with 5 factors, a pair of rebounds and an help in 9 minutes of the 114-90 loss to the Dallas Mavericks. “You never know how long I’m going to play here. I was so happy I got in, just to show the fans some love for maybe, I don’t know, one last time. I have no idea.”

Fizdale stated his staff’s poor efficiency — and never the followers’ chants — led him to show to 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,” Fizdale stated. “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 [Wednesday night] was that opportunity.”

Teams have talked to New York about potential offers for the middle forward of the Feb. 7 commerce deadline, sources stated. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this month that the Sacramento Kings and Knicks talked a couple of commerce involving Kanter and Zach Randolph as a swap of expiring contracts.

New York doesn’t need to take again wage in a commerce of Kanter, sources stated. If the Knicks cannot discover a commerce that fits them, the membership and Kanter might agree on a buyout, which might permit Kanter to signal with the staff of his alternative.

Kanter is within the closing yr of his contract, making $18.6 million this season.

The 26-year-old made it clear once more Wednesday that he would favor to stay with the staff if he had been within the rotation.

“If they know the love of New York I have in my heart, they would retire my jersey,” Kanter stated of the followers. “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.”

The Knicks (10-40) have misplaced 11 consecutive video games. They final received at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1 — a streak of 12 straight dwelling video games.