Kanter: “Get Me Out Of Here” If I’m Not Playing

Enes Kanter‘s frustration with his diminished role in the Knicks‘ rotation reached a boiling point on Wednesday night after he received his first DNP-CD of the season in the team’s loss to Houston. As Marc Berman of The New York Post relays, Kanter said that what the Knicks are doing to him is “pretty messed up.”

“They told me this morning that I’m starting,” Kanter said of the Knicks’ coaching staff. “Now I come to the game and I didn’t even play. I’m trying to be a good teammate, but I want to play basketball. If you’re going to play me here, play me. If not, just get me out of here.”

With his minutes fluctuating over the last month or so as the Knicks focus more on developing their young players, Kanter has already expressed annoyance about his role multiple times. However, he took it to a new level on Wednesday by calling on the club to “get me out of here” if it doesn’t plan to play him.

With Luke Kornet sidelined due to an ankle injury, Kanter appeared set to return to the starting lineup and play regular minutes going forward. However, New York instead opted to start Noah Vonleh at center, with Mitchell Robinson backing him up. The duo handled all the center minutes during Wednesday’s tough four-point loss to the Rockets, leaving Kanter to vent to reporters after the game.

“It’s so frustrating,” Kanter said, per Berman. “In the meeting, [head coach David Fizdale] said I was starting. Now it’s coming here and coming to the game ready to go and I sit on the bench. … I deserve way better. They didn’t explain me anything. I’m just going to let my agent handle it. I love the Knicks, don’t get me wrong. I love the crowd and MSG and have love for this city, but I want to play basketball. Either play me or just let me play someplace.”

Although Kanter is on an expiring contract, he’s earning $18.6MM+ this season, which will make him difficult to move, since the Knicks don’t want to take on any extra 2019/20 money. The Knicks and Bulls have reportedly discussed a deal involving Kanter and Jabari Parker, who has a $20MM expiring contract of his own, but they’ve been unable to find a third team willing to take Kanter.

The Mavericks were among the teams that turned down the chance to be the third team in such a deal, tweets Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. Presumably, Wesley Matthews‘ expiring salary – which is identical to Kanter’s – would have been included in that proposal.

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21 thoughts on “Kanter: “Get Me Out Of Here” If I’m Not Playing

  1. All this guy does is go 20-10 in his sleep while shooting 60% from the field. Ya let’s bench him over Noah Vonleh. Knicks are trash. Free Enes!

    • Jason Lancaster

      Don’t forget his poor rim defense and the turnovers!

      I agree he’s the best center NY has, but still…he’s not a modern NBA center.

      • bigguccisosa300

        Not to mention his questionable personality and comments. Kanter can put up numbers for sure but I don’t want him on my team

        • x%sure

          That’s how you get yourself shipped out of town– which is just what Kanter wants! He should actually be more disruptive. Fizdale’s stunt should help that.

    • Dave4585

      He’s like the worst defensive Center in the game though to the point players are raging on his P + R defense on Twitter, plus Knicks are in rebuild mode.

    • He scores 20 and gives up 40. Defense is part of the game, too. It’s not in his vocabulary.

  2. Z-A

    Parker for Kanter does make sense. Knicks should take a chance on any former Top-10 pick in need of a scenery change that wont cost them much.

    THJ + Kanter for Mike Conley gives you a legitimate PG next year if they think they wont land the ‘right’ one next year. But not sure they’ll have enough cap to land anyone else significant unless the offload Lee and Thomas.

    • That deal would kill any FA signing. THJ is half Conley’s salary, and Kanter is off the books after this year, so no need to move him. Conley’s cap plus KP’s 17M cap hold sucks the Knicks dry. Memphis of the East is what they’d become.

      As for Parker, he has a team opt out. Not sure why the Knicks would pay him 2M for what they’d get for nothing in Kanter.

      • hiflew

        Kanter + Lee + Ntikilina would make even more sense. The Grizz could add an expiring like Garrett Temple or Jeff Green and the numbers would work. I don’t see the Grizzlies wanting to take back THJ, but Lee and Ntikilina would be about the same $.

        The Knicks could always try to move THJ in a separate deal. Perhaps by shipping THJ and Kornet and a future pick to Dallas for DeAndre Jordan.

  3. Kanter’s basketball value isn’t the issue at this point. Nobody can argue his effort and commitment to the organization, on and off the floor. If Fiz doesn’t want him as part of the team going forward, that’s fine. But the Knicks as an organization (FO and Fiz) need to deal fairly with a player like this, starting with some honesty. They seem intent on doing the opposite, since last summer really. Comically, this is the same group that choose to accommodate Noah. Maybe if Kanter got suspended for drugs, attacked the coach and mocked the organization, he’d get more respect from them.

    • formerlyz

      I think they have been forthcoming with what they’re trying to do since Fizdale got hired. Kanter lives in a delusional world, and nobody would want him at his money

  4. formerlyz

    Get better on defense or shut up about not playing. Kanter shouldn’t get more than 25 minutes off the bench in today’s NBA, and he fits better in that 2nd unit, so he can get his shots. Mitchell Robinson and Kornet have both played very well thos year, and its obviously more important for the Knicks to develop that than play Kanter. Vonleh is also an asset, so it makes sense to see how he does at the 5 while other guys are out…that doesnt even include Porzingis, who should be the starting 5 when he comes back

  5. TheBlueMeanie

    Anyone else tired of this guy’s entitled antics? This is his 9th season on his 4th team, yet he acts as if he’s a future Hall of Famer. There’s a reason he doesn’t stick anywhere.

    • Z-A

      From a guy making that much, he should probably not talk. But he wants to play so someone else gives him a contract next year, plain & simple.

      • hiflew

        Exactly. He learned from the Luol Deng and Joakim Noah examples that if you don’t play while making a lot, the best you are going to do is a vets minimum deal.

  6. DXC is 100% right. If Fiz told Kanter he was starting in the morning, and then did not talk to him again until after announcing the starters to the team, he has every right to be upset.

    Say what you will about Enes, but if Fiz was just honest with him, EK still goes to the media to complain, but then he’s the one that looks bad, not the organization.

    We saw the Fiz loved in Miami, and oft maligned in Memphis. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt after his last stop, but now I think i have seen enough to be genuinely concerned. Some of the things he has done (ie. sitting Frank on X-Mas though he had family in from France) are things that other players are going to look at when evaluating whether to come to the Knicks in FA. The team always looks terrible coming out of half time, which tells me the other team’s coach makes adjustments at HT, while Fiz does not. 2-20 in the last 22 after looking plucky in their first 25 games makes me wonder if the players have already given up on Fiz. Of course I would not have expected the Knicks to win 10 of those, but 3 or 4 more, and look competitive more often would have been nice.

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