In the latest update to an ongoing saga, Enes Kanter's struggles to reconcile his playing time with his expectations might have come to a head after Wednesday's 114-110 loss to the Houston Rockets at Madison Square Garden.
Kanter was one of four Knicks who didn't make it onto the floor; per reports out of New York, Kanter claims to have been told he was starting earlier in the day during a team meeting.
“I think what they’re doing to me is pretty messed up because they just told me this morning that I’m starting,” Kanter told reporters, per Steve Popper of Newsday. “Coach said it himself that I’m starting. I come to the game and didn’t even play. I’m trying to be a good teammate here, man. The whole league knows me. I’m always with my teammates, with the organization, that I play for. Like I said, I want to play basketball. We’re all competitors. I want to play basketball. So just if you’re going to play me here play me. If not, then just get me out of here.”
Enes Kanter says he was told this morning by the Knicks he would start tonight vs the Rockets. He got a DNP instead.— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) January 24, 2019
"What they're doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve better."
Kanter pretty much asks to be traded.
"You either play me or let me play." pic.twitter.com/EufOCAkidF
Knicks coach David Fizdale told reporters on Tuesday that Kanter was "right back in the mix" for playing time (and perhaps a starting role) with usual starter Luke Kornet out a few weeks with a sprained ankle and bone bruise. Overall, Fizdale has preferred to play the Knicks' younger players as the team assesses its talent and moves forward.
However, on Wednesday night, the 30-year-old Lance Thomas got the starting nod over the 26-year-old Kanter.
“It’s so frustrating,” Kanter said after the game, per Newsday. “This morning in the meeting he said I’m starting. Now coming to the game ready to go and I’m sitting on the bench. I can not get caught up with all that stuff. My job right now is just cheer for my teammates and try to be a good teammate. Like I said, what they’re doing to me is pretty messed up. I deserve way better.”
In the 42 games Kanter has appeared this season, he's averaging 14.4 points and 10.8 rebounds in 26.3 minutes.
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