New York Knicks big man Enes Kanter recently travelled back to Oklahoma City, where he used to play for the Thunder, to hold a basketball camp. ESPN’s Royce Young caught up with Kanter at his camp and the two talked about a number of NBA-related topics like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, the Warriors and his own free agency.
Here are five takeaways from Kanter’s conversation with Young:
Kanter thinks LeBron was disrespectful to the Knicks:
“With LeBron, it was weird because when I was with the Thunder I remember watching games, highlights when the Cavs were blowing out the Knicks at MSG. And then they started playing the “bottle flip” game. I was like, “This is disrespectful, man … this is messed up.”
“And then it was the first game I was with the Knicks and then he came and before the game he said we should’ve drafted Dennis Smith Jr. And not just me, but most of our guys felt like it was disrespectful to Frank [Ntilikina] and we actually sat down with Frank and talked to him and said, “Hey you gotta step up for yourself, man.”
“Then I was in the game and they were pushing each other and I’m like, “This is a 19-year-old kid against a 260-pound dude. This is not fair.” So I get in there and we were face-to-face and we trash-talked a little bit. After the game I called him “queen” or “princess” or whatever.
“But I would do anything to take his focus away, distract him. People ask me, “Does it work?” No it does not work. But I’m trying.”
Kanter thinks the Warriors have ruined the league:
“I’ve got no problem. They didn’t do anything illegal. You look back in the day with what happened with Chris Paul, the league didn’t let him go to the Lakers. Now, I feel like they’ve kind of ruined the league a little bit because most people say, “Oh, Golden State is going to win anyway, so I’m not going to watch the games anymore.” But the ratings are pretty good, though. Still, the fans are wondering what’s going on.”
Kanter doesn’t like how Durant decided to leave the Thunder in 2016:
“With Durant, of course there was a beef with [Russell] Westbrook when he came back [to Oklahoma City]. In the end I understand it’s a business. This dude went [to Golden State], and in two years he made two All-Stars, two Finals MVPs and two championships. I think our problem with [leaving] the Thunder was how he did it. I don’t think he’ll ever get the respect he wants because of how he did it.”
Kanter still has a lot love for Oklahoma City and the Thunder:
“Yeah, because I remember from Day 1, not just the whole [Thunder] organization, but the people here, the fans, it was like home for me. Because I did not have a home.”
Kanter swears that he didn’t know he was going to opt in to his contract until the last minute:
“Actually up until the last day we didn’t know. To the last day, we waited and waited.”