Even though the Madison Square Garden crowd kept chanting his name, Enes Kanter didn't see time on the court.
Kanter logged another DNP-coach's decision in Sunday's 96-84 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, his fifth such absence in the Knicks' last seven games. And though he felt grateful for the fans' support, he said he couldn't completely revel in the moment.
"I don't know if the organization wants to hear (the chants) every game because it's a little embarrassing," Kanter said, according to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy. "Because after this trade and everything the fans still want me to go out there and play. I don't know if they want to hear that chant every game. I have no idea what they will do."
Kanter didn't play while the three newly-acquired Knicks -- Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan and Wesley Matthews -- each logged more than 20 minutes on the court in their team debuts.
Before Thursday's blockbuster Kristaps Porzingis trade, Knicks head coach David Fizdale said he would prioritize playing time to young players like Mitchell Robinson and Luke Kornet as opposed to Kanter, something he said Porzingis understood.
However, even though Matthews, 32, and Jordan, 30, both have expiring contracts that don't exactly fit into the Knicks' long-term plans, Fizdale said he would play them so the Knicks' younger players can learn more from them.
"Because DeAndre, he's a veteran version of what Mitchell is hoping to become," Fizdale said over the weekend, according to ESPN's Ian Begley. "And the same with Wesley. I think Wes is really going to be able to help Dot (Damyean Dotson) and Zo (Allonzo Trier) especially when it comes to defending. So I want to be able to find him some minutes out there so that he can demonstrate it while he's doing it."
Kanter is in the final year of a four-year, $70 million deal, however he could seek a trade prior to Thursday's trade deadline, or he could be a buyout option.
"I'm 26 and the guy just came is older than me," said Kanter, who has averaged 14 points and 10.5 rebounds in 44 games this season. "I don't know man. I think it's a little disrespectful. Only reason I'm not playing is they think I'm old. Now they bring in more old guys. I just feel a little disrespected."
After a four-game absence, Kanter played 9:20 in Wednesday's loss to the Mavericks, kissing the logo when he stepped onto the court.
On Sunday, there was a moment when Kanter thought an assistant coach called his name so he could be subbed in, however Fizdale called "Dennis," not "Enes." Kanter then retreated back to the bench.
"He wanted to run all the way to the scorer's table, make it a bigger spectacle," Fizdale said on Sunday.