Center Enes Kanter reiterated his will to retire a New York Knick in an interview with ESPN's Ian Begley.
The 25-year-old Kanter, in his first season in New York after it acquired him in September's Carmelo Anthony trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder, said earlier this month he didn't want to play for anybody else, and echoed those same sentiments on Friday.
"Before I came here," Kanter told Begley, "you were hearing it or were thinking, 'Oh, it's New York, they haven't made the playoffs for the last whatever years. The organization is not good. They're changing the GMs and all this other stuff. People are not good there.' ... But after I came, I realized that this is the place that I want to be and to play for a long time. Because people in the organization are so warm and so welcoming."
Kanter, who has averaged 13.6 points and 9.9 rebounds in his seventh season since being drafted third overall in 2011, has a player option worth $18.6 million for the 2018-19 season and can become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
But even though he has played in Utah and Oklahoma City before, Kanter said he already has strong feelings for New York.
"After you play in New York, you don't really want to go anywhere else," Kanter told Begley. "The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, 'This place is so cool, I want to retire here.' I remember one of the media guys was asking me, 'Is it too early to decide because you've been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?' I was like, 'This is the place I want to be.' You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I'm really cool with Ben Stiller."
Kanter said he has a good rapport with new GM Scott Perry and has enjoyed the Madison Square Garden crowd, but added that the Knicks' willingness to embrace his Turkish culture and give him a safe haven from the conflict going on in his native country have made New York a true home.
"Those are the guys, the only people I got. ... I see them almost every day, I play with them. I go to war with them," Kanter said. "Whenever they sit down with you, sharing the food and the culture, it's amazing."