Enes Kanter in New York

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The Knicks have had a rough few years as of late. The Phil Jackson era, Carmelo Anthony’s drama, and Porzingis skipping his exit meeting are just a few of the many negatives in the Knicks past few seasons.

The Knicks finally parted ways with Carmelo Anthony this summer. They traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott. People were questioning the move at the time because that ‘wasn’t enough’ value for Carmelo Anthony.

Enes Kanter was very thrilled when he found out the news that he was headed to New York. “He said don’t look too happy because he knows I love New York,” said Enes Kanter’s agent when he told him the news.

Enes Kanter has been an absolute monster this season for the Knicks. He is averaging 13.8 points and 10.5 rebounds through 21 games. He has helped bring the Garden back to life with the new look, young Knicks.

Remember Enes Kanter is only 25 years old as well and he was drafted with the third pick in the 2011 draft by the Jazz.

Kanter has energized New York so far and surely won over Knicks fans as well. If you follow Kanter on social media you will see many posts where he is expressing his love for the city and the great fans. You will also see many ‘controversial’ tweets where Enes expresses his thoughts.

Enes Kanter vs. LeBron

You obviously heard about the whole ‘LeBron beef’ when people thought that LeBron was taking a shot at Knicks rookie Frank Ntilikina. Whether you like it or not, the Knicks needed somebody like that to call out the greatest player in the world. Kanter brings that ‘New York grit’ to the Knicks.

LeBron James said that the 9th pick in the 2017 draft, Dennis Smith Jr., “should be a Knick.” LeBron did not mean to start a war of words, but one broke out. Kanter responded to LeBron by saying that the Knicks were happy with what they got and defended Frank Ntilikina. This all happened the day before and carried on into the next day where the Cavs took on the Knicks in New York.

There was so much talking before the game that you almost could almost know that something was going to happen. At the end of the first quarter LeBron bumped into Ntilikina, Ntilikina gave LeBron a little shove, and Kanter ran over in defense of his rookie.

The Knicks blew a huge lead to LeBron and the Cavs and ended up losing. But even though they lost, this game was the first time in a long time that the Knicks are relevant again. In the past, the Knicks have had players that really don’t care if they lose *cough cough… Carmelo Anthony*. This Knicks team with guys like Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas, KP, Hardaway and Kanter all have one thing in common, they really hate losing. This is something that the Knicks needed for a long time. Even if you don’t like Kanter, all of New York loves him.

Joakim Noah Similarities

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Enes Kanter has a very similar game to one of his teammates when he was in his prime. Mr. Worst Contract, Joakim Noah. Both players average a double-double (in their prime) and bring good defense. Enes Kanter is exactly what the Knicks wanted out of Joakim Noah when they signed him, but Noah was just too old. Kanter brings energy and excitement to the team and helps get the crowd into it. Kanter is more skilled offensively than Noah as well.

When the Knicks signed Noah they expected him to be a double-double, loud-mouthed, veteran player. Sadly that is not the case.

Maybe Noah could still make an impact as a mentor on the team. But it is very unlikely that at this stage in Noah’s career, he can do anything else. Luckily the Knicks got something better, they got Kanter who is only 25 and as skilled as Noah and still has a lot of room to grow.

Maybe the only negative of Enes Kanter joining the Knicks is Willy Hernangomez has lost almost all of his minutes. He went from being the starting center a few days before media day, to being a benchwarmer who gets the same minutes as Ron Baker.

Willy Hernangomez, in case you forgot, was a First Team All Rookie last season and was in the running for rookie of the year.

Hernangomez will get his minutes eventually though, it is just that Kanter has exceeded expectations and Kyle O’Quinn has been playing really well. You have to feel for Hernangomez, but he’ll be fine. The Knicks have four centers. Kanter, O’Quinn, Hernangomez, and Noah. Don’t be surprised to see Kyle O’Quinn get traded sometime this season as he is the only player who makes sense for the Knicks to move.

Ethan Carter, @theleaguesource