When the Knicks shuffled the starting lineup, inserting three new faces into the mix, one of the guys left out was Enes Kanter. And he wasn’t pleased.
It wasn’t his words. Kanter was measured in his response when asked what his reaction was: “You know, just went out there to do my job.” Asked again, he said, “Coach wants me to lead the second unit. So I’m just leading the second unit.”
The usually ebullient Kanter was speaking in short sentences and trying to smile but clearly was unhappy. “I’m just going out there to lead the second unit,” he added.
Kerr: ‘Dangerous time’
Warriors coach Steve Kerr has not hesitated to speak his mind about his issues with President Donald Trump, and when 13 explosive devices were sent to politicians and critics of the president, he said he was concerned.
The Warriors did not go to visit the White House after winning the championship and Trump rescinded the invitation after the team said it would not attend. Kerr — whose father, Malcolm, was killed by gunmen outside of his office in Beirut while working as a professor at American University in Lebanon in 1984 — and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have been among the most outspoken NBA critics of the current political climate.
“A little bit, yeah,” said Kerr when asked if he is concerned. “But I think we all should be concerned. No matter who you are you should be concerned not just because of the bombs but somebody shooting you. It’s the country we live in these days. Innocent people get killed, innocent people get shot. It’s a dangerous time to be alive right now.
“Maybe I should [have extra security]. It’s really sad and kind of speaks to where things are these. But I have not done anything like that.”
DeMarcus Cousins, in street clothes, was ejected. In the first quarter, during a timeout, he was assessed a technical foul and ejected from the game by referee Scott Foster. “Kanter and Cousins were warned prior to the ejection about talking to the bench,” Foster told a pool reporter. “Cousins took exception to the ruling, and during the timeout, he was ejected for one technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. We just felt like one technical was sufficient for a player not in the game.”
It wasn’t just the lineup change that David Fizdale took from the one-sided loss at Miami. With a young team, he hoped that a message was sent.
“For us, it’s every minute counts,” the Knicks’ coach said. “We can’t play the scoreboard every single night. We’re going to have some stinkers every now and then . . . Miami punched us really hard in the face. What I wanted us to take from it is how do you get up the next day after getting really beat down and taking a serious punch. The other games, we could walk away from it with a moral victory if that’s what you want to say for a young team. But that game we got smacked. I wanted to see how they responded . . . They really came in and left it behind them and attacked the day like pros.”
Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) and Courtney Lee (neck strain) were out of action.