Knicks C Enes Kanter is a man of many interests, but one of his deepest passions lies in professional wrestling. As VICE's Michael Pina uncovered in a recent profile of the Knicks center, Kanter actually aspires to work in a ring one day using his connections with Vince McMahon, Paul Heyman, and some current WWE Superstars.
Considering a leap from the NBA to WWE is something that's yet to be done -- although plenty of NFL-ers have made the transition -- I had to inquire further with Kanter, and dig into his background with the product.
The interview below has been edited lightly for clarity...
KD: So you're a serious fan?
EK: I'm actually a very serious fan, I've been to -- actually the last time I went to went to a wrestling match was here at SummerSlam in Brooklyn. It's good because it's all about going out there, having fun, talking trash, shoving people, and just being with the fans. I think that's my type of world. I'm actually seriously considering becoming [a wrestler] when I'm done with basketball.
KD: So it takes, what, a couple years to train?
EK: Yeah. I mean I'm already watching all the guys, going to the shows, I think for me it might take a few months, I don't know if I can train two years. I need to be out there quick.
KD: You'd probably be a good age, too.
EK: 34, 35. Around 35.
KD: What did you think of the main event of SummerSlam?
EK: It was good, it was very good. I was just very excited, it was my first SummerSlam experience. So this year, Wrestlemania is here, so I'm very excited about that.
KD: Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up?
EK: My all-time favorite was, of course, The Undertaker. I mean I've been watching him since college, and actually met him when he came to MSG. My knees were shaking, I'm that big of a fan of him. And after that, I like Paul Heyman a lot. I'm talking with him, I'm really good friends with him actually, by the way. He told me, 'Hey, when you're done, let me know. We'll just go ahead and do it.' I said, 'Okay!' Like, actually.
KD: So even if you were to become a wrestler, you've probably got like six years until you'd be with Paul Heyman. Who do you think should be the next guy to go with Paul Heyman once Brock [Lesnar] leaves.
EK: When Brock's done? Ooh.
KD: Could be soon he could be done! He might need a new guy.
EK: Yeah, yeah. I don't think [Heyman] should retire, no. I have no idea. But I think he needs to get somebody good. Like a Superstar like this [punches palm]. Because that's Paul Heyman, he's a legend.
KD: What are your top three finishers?
EK: Tombstone, of course, Undertaker. And, uh, I'm really cool with Dana Brooke, so I like her [bicep] flex. The last one I'll say...I'm trying to think, man.
KD: You've got the Stunner, the RKO, the Sweet Chin Music...
EK: Rey Mysterio. Rey Mysterio, yep. With the turning him into...what's it called, the 619? The 619.
KD: So, what would your finishing move be?
EK: I actually don't even think I've thought about it yet.
KD: Would you want to slam someone down, use your height?
EK: I need to think about a good one. Because I'm going from an NBA player to a wrestler, I'm going to need a really, really cool one. So I'm still thinking about it.