The New York Knicks are focusing on player development and veterans like Enes Kanter are growing frustrated with the state of the team.
Enes Kanter entered the season with big expectations for the New York Knicks, but things haven’t gone his way. The Knicks are 9-28 and for the second time this season, Kanter is out of the starting lineup.
The Turkish center is frustrated by this development and he’s growing increasingly frustrated. Kanter spoke with reporters about his confusion and reiterated his desire to win (via Steve Popper of Newsday):
“I just want to play basketball. …I don’t understand why they are shutting me down. I just want to go out there and win.”
Kanter has played on winning teams for most of his career. It’s understandable that he’s frustrated with the consistent losing. That being said, Kanter’s suspect defense is a factor in the Knicks ineptitude. Although Kanter is voicing his frustration, head coach David Fizdale is not throwing his player under the bus.
“As long as these are my guys and in the gym with me, I’m coaching the hell out of them and make them better players,” he told Marc Berman of the New York Post. “I’ll leave that kind of stuff to Scott (Perry) to handle that.”
Kanter’s days in New York seem to be numbered. It’s understandable that he’s frustrated, but he did choose to opt into the final year of his contract. Of course, he wouldn’t be making near the same kind of money if he opted out and decided to sign somewhere else. He made a business decision and now he has to live with it.
Kanter’s frustration is largely met with eye rolls and head-scratching from Knicks fans. But Kanter isn’t the only veteran vexed by the commitment to player development. According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas may also be frustrated by the course of the franchise. At the very least, they were told in advance that the team was prioritizing player development over winning.
The Knicks are focusing more on the young players, as they should, but the mounting losses don’t make the commitment to player development easy on anyone.