In Enes Kanter’s world, if you are sharing a locker room with him, you are his brother. And if you’re down the hall, in the opposing locker room? Just picture him going nose-to-nose with LeBron James last season or trash-talking Kevin Durant when Durant bolted Oklahoma City for the Warriors.
That explains his conflict on the court, protecting his teammates and turf, and also explains his efforts to turn enemies into friends when opportunity presents itself.
Appearing on SiriusXM NBA Radio Wednesday morning, Kanter described his plans for next summer. While he is a free agent after this season, he hopes to return to New York on a long-term deal and more than that, he hopes to bring his old OKC teammate, Durant, along with him.
“I’ve been hard on him the last two years,” Kanter said. “But I’m like, as soon as I learned he’s becoming a free agent he’s my best friend. I can’t say enough of the guy. He’s one of the best scorers to ever play the game. Who wouldn’t want KD to wear a Knicks uniform?
“We are New York. He’s a free agent. We need to use that. We are the best city in the world. It can draw a lot of attention in free agency. I would love for him to be my teammate again. When he was my teammate he was an amazing teammate, amazing character, amazing scorer and basketball player on court and off the court, too. I would love to see him on my team again.”
For now, Kanter is focused on the current season, what the organization has openly discussed as a developmental time. He praised rookie Kevin Knox — for his skills on the court, not in the kitchen, after posting video of Knox cooking for him last week — and last year’s lottery pick, Frank Ntilikina. He spoke optimistically about the impending return of Kristaps Porzingis.
And mostly, he was willing to wait for Durant to finish off what he’s doing right now.
“I’m not going to talk anything,” Kanter said. “It’s too early. He has a season to finish. But, man, whenever that season is over, I don’t care if they’re winning or losing, I’m going after him like I did LeBron. LeBron didn’t work. He went to the Lakers. but I had to shoot my shot. With KD, I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to try to recruit him. It would be amazing.”