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...
Tags: Enes Kanter
NEW YORK -- Well, I think that was more fun than most people expected! The Nets topped the Knicks 107-105 on Friday night in what was a thrilling home opener, decided by a Caris LeVert lay-in with just one second left.
It was a disappointing last few seconds for the Knicks, and a game which saw some bad defensive mistakes, but New York's two neophytes had good showings which is really all that matters. With that, some thoughts...
Shaquille O'Neal doesn't think the Knicks are going anywhere anytime soon -- or ever.
In an interview set to air on Saturday morning on FOX 5, Shaq was asked by Baruch Shemtov of FOX 5 whether the Knicks would ever win a championship, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
NEW YORK -- These days, the rivalry between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets can be defined by rebuilding projects and getting their respective rosters on the road to playoff contention.
Heading into the season, neither club is projected as a playoff team. Instead, they're hoping to continue rebuilding projects with an eye toward future success.
With getting wins among the focus of the rebuilding projects, the intracity rivals get together for the first time this season Friday when the Knicks visit the Nets. >> Read More
Enes Kanter already has his life after basketball planned.
He is going to join the WWE.
The 26-year-old Knicks center spoke about his obsession for professional wrestling in a recent profile with Vice, in which he revealed he is already talking to WWE executives about becoming a wrestler.
Tags: Enes Kanter
The Knicks couldn't be any happier to kick off their season on the right foot with a 126-107 win over the Hawks at The Garden on opening night. But they also know it's only Game 1, and there are 81 tough games left to go on their journey.
Though improvements are expected, one aspect of the Knicks' game that flourished last night was their pace of play. The attention to getting out in transition was key in collecting quick buckets to rack up the score, especially in the second half.
Rookie guard Allonzo Trier said the execution of getting stops on defense and pushing the ball up quickly was exactly what the Knicks planned to do. And it worked...
You hear that sound coming from West 33rd and 8th Ave? No, it's not the trains running through Penn Station. This locomotive, better known as the Knicks Hype Train, is chugglng along through Madison Square Garden after last night's 126-107 rout of the Hawks.
And I know what you're thinking: The Hawks are probably the worst team in the league this season. Yeah, you're probably right. But who cares! The Knicks are rebuilding, have brand new faces to go along with a brand new coaching staff, and they put on a clinic...
When it comes to Knicks rookies, Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson -- their 2018 draft picks -- have gotten the most attention. But another name was added after Allonzo Trier erupted in the preseason and had a similar explosion during the Knicks' opening night win over the Hawks, which included a ferocious dunk.
Trier, the 6-foot-5 guard who went undrafted out of Arizona and who David Fizdale calls "Iso Zo," finished the night with 15 points, ripped down four rebounds and added two blocks.
With Trier generating his own spotlight in the Big Apple, here are five things you didn't know about the Knicks' budding rookie...
NEW YORK -- The Knicks' unveiling of their shiny new lottery pick three years ago went a little bit differently.
It was in late October, against these same Atlanta Hawks, when 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis made his home debut. The rookie added the first ever play to his highlight reel, shaking Paul Millsap with a spin move to throw down a breakaway dunk. This 7-foot-3 forward with guard skills, who was supposed to be a long-term project, announced to the arena, the city, and a national television audience that he was ready to contribute right away. Fans wouldn't have to wait to start enjoying Knicks games again and hyping the living daylights out of the team's future.
Tuesday night, in a 126-107 win, the Knicks' latest lottery pick delivered a new message to fans with his play: Chill...
David Fizdale and his young Knicks squad opened their 2018-19 season with a 126-107 rout of the Hawks on Wednesday night in The Garden. >> Box Score
Things you need to know about tonight's game...
1) Tim Hardaway Jr., despite being young, is expected to be a veteran leader this season. And that certainly showed with a 31-point, seven-rebound night to start his year. He also collected five assists and two steals on the night.
While the Knicks are still shaking off some off-season rust, one special fan seems to be in midseason form.
A fan made a half-court shot at Madison Square Garden during the Knicks' season opener on Wednesday night. For making the shot, the fan won $10,000.
CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE VIDEO
Knicks President Steve Mills said on the Michael Kay Show that the team is happy with its decision not to extend Kristaps Porzingis before he is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.
The team will save $10 million next summer by not extending Porzingis, per Ian Begley of ESPN. Mills justified the team's decision by stressing the importance of building the right team around Porzingis to put him in a better position to succeed down the stretch.
"We believe it was the smart move," Mills explained. "But primarily because over the summer, Scott and I sat down with KP's brother (Janis Porzingis) and talked about the different options that we have in front of us as it related to his extension. We were clear that the best option to make the Knicks a better team long-term and have a better group of guys that KP can grow with long-term was to not do the extension at this point."
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
NEW YORK -- The David Fizdale era kicks off for the New York Knicks on Wednesday night as they open their season with a visit from the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.
Of course, with the Knicks there is always drama, and that is no different as they set to open their season.
First, there was the jettisoning of longtime NBA vet Joakim Noah over the weekend. >> Read More
It may not be on the same pedestal of Magic vs. Larry, Wilt vs. Bill, or even Shaq vs. Kobe. But the rivalry between LeBron James and Enes Kanter is one that has gained some traction over the years.
But, with James taking his talents this time to the Western Conference with the Lakers, Kanter won't be seeing his newfound rival that often.
Though the Turkish big man will be sure to troll James on Twitter (as he does with the rest of the NBA), he will need to find a new arch nemesis out of the East. That enemy will need to possess James' confidence, star status, and most importantly, not back down from any trash talk -- both on and off the court...
Tags: Enes Kanter, Scott Thompson
Kevin Durant doesn't want to talk about free agency much, but he and those around him keep fanning the flames that he'll leave the Warriors after this season -- potentially for the Knicks.
On Wednesday morning, Durant's brother commented on Instagram about "filling the hand up before we get outta here" -- an apparent reference to Durant winning one more title with the Warriors before opting out of his contract.
Click below to see...
Kevin Knox has the support of at least one Knicks legend, even if it's one who still isn't on the best terms with the franchise.
Hours before opening night against the Hawks at Madison Square Garden, Charles Oakley tweeted his well-wishes for the Knicks rookie, who will surprisingly come off the bench in his NBA debut.
"Good luck tonight @KevKnox," Oakley wrote. "Play hard and the Garden will love you. Rooting for you young fella. Bring the intensity! Starts on D!"
Tags: Kevin Knox
The 2018-19 season is going to be a transitional one for the Knicks.With a brand-new coach in David Fizdale and a highly touted rookie in Kevin Knox, there is plenty of reason for a long-suffering fanbase to be hopeful for the future. But there's also a lot of uncertainty.
Kristaps Porzingis is rehabbing a torn left ACL, and it remains to be seen when he'll play - or how good he'll look when he does. Second-year guard Frank Ntilikina showed promise in his rookie campaign, particularly on the defensive end of the floor, but he still has a long way to go.
After waiving Joakim Noah's onerous contract with the stretch provision, Scott Perry and Steve Mills will go into 2019 free agency armed with enough cap space to lure a big name. In the meantime, the Knicks can choose one of two paths: Go for broke and make a dark-horse playoff run, or embrace the tank for one more year and add to their collection of young players. Each approach would have its advantages and its drawbacks...
The Knicks are on the hook for the remaining $37.8 million on Joakim Noah's contract, but GM Scott Perry said the team is in better shape after waiving the big man rather than dealing him.
For months Perry failed to find a trade partner to take the 33-year-old Noah, who would not agree to a buyout with a Knicks after signing a four-year, $72 million contract with the team in 2016. The Knicks are instead using the stretch provision to lessen his annual cap hit, paying him $6.4 million annually through 2022, according to the New York Daily News.
And Perry said the trade market indicated he made the right choice.
Tags: Joakim Noah
The NBA season just started and the Kevin Durant free agency speculation is already in full swing.
And of course, the Knicks are involved.
Durant appeared to like, then unlike, an Instagram post from the account @ballgod on the news that the Knicks were starting Frank Ntilikina over rookie Kevin Knox at small forward.
Tags: Frank Ntilikina
The Knicks have their starting five set for Wednesday night's season opener against the Atlanta Hawks, but 2018 first-round pick Kevin Knox didn't make the cut.
On the court for tipoff at Madison Square Garden will be Enes Kanter, Lance Thomas, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina, according to Mike Vorukunov of The Athletic.
David Fizdale was planning to start Knox after Friday's preseason finale against the Brooklyn Nets, but the Knicks' rookie coach has surprisingly opted to start Ntilikina at small forward after reviewing film and data, Vorkunov reported.
Tags: Frank Ntilikina
The Knicks' season outlook may be as bleak as it gets, but one NBA expert predicts a star will descend upon New York in the summer of 2019.
And that player is Kevin Durant.
ESPN's Zach Lowe says neither the Warriors forward nor his buddies currently know what Durant wants to do, but he may be tempted to follow LeBron James' example and help revive a legendary franchise like the Knicks.
Though the Knicks have yet to set a definitive timetable for Kristaps Porzingis' return, the 23-year-old forward has impressed new head coach David Fizdale with how he's tried to help younger players in practice.
"He's been awesome to have in the gym," Fizdale said Monday. "It's like having another coach. The film sessions, he speaks up as much as any coach on our staff, and what he says is exactly what we need said."
Porzingis, who is entering his fourth season since being the No. 4 pick in 2015, will play under his fourth coach in as many years.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis, Matt Eisenberg
The Knicks exercised their third-year option for point guard Frank Ntilikina, the team announced on Monday.
Ntilikina, 20, will make $4.9 million in the 2019-20 season after the move, which is a mere formality.
While new head coach David Fizdale has not revealed who his starting point guard will be this season, Ntilikina is in the mix and figures to have a good chance.
Nobody is expecting the Knicks to be a playoff contender this season without Kristaps Porzingis, but prognosticators are predicting that things are going to be pretty bleak this season.
Per FiveThirtyEight's CARMELO system, which factors each player's future performance based on trajectory of similar NBA players, the Knicks are expected to finish dead last in the league, with a 23-59 record and one percent chance of reaching the playoffs.
It would mark the sixth straight season the Knicks fail to reach the playoffs, but the good news is that they could potentially land the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NBA draft.
Tags: Kristaps Porzingis
Mario Hezonja is doing his best to be Mr. Nice Guy with the Knicks.
The 23-year-old forward, whom the Knicks signed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal this summer, has had a quiet preseason but explains that it is because he is going out of his way to gain the trust and build chemistry with his new teammates.
"It's not about me trying to show off immediately and do some crazy stuff," Hezonja told Marc Berman of the New York Post. "I'm being overly patient, trying to play for my teammates, trying to see who I fit with. It's a new kind of team. I don't want to be an a--hole to anybody. I'm just trying to figure out my own team. I know I can hold myself up easily. I was trying figure out the environment."
Courtney Lee is just hoping to help the Knicks in any way he can.
The veteran guard, who was finally able to practice at full speed Sunday, knows that missing the entire preseason with a strained neck doesn't help his chances of playing in Wednesday's opener against the Hawks. Though, coach David Fizdale called the 33-year-old's practice "very encouraging."
"I mean I missed the whole preseason, so it wouldn't be one of those things that if I didn't play I'd be bitter about it," Lee reportedly said after practice. "It's just being smart and cautious of the injury that I did have. If he does throw me out there I'll be ready."
Tags: Courtney Lee
Joakim Noah is no longer a New York Knick.
The team announced on Saturday that they are outright waiving the 33-year-old center, who had two years remaining on his deal.
Because Noah would not agree to a buyout, the Knicks still owe him the remaining $37.8 million but can spread the money out into smaller cap hits over the next three years.
The Knicks wrapped up their preseason schedule on Friday night, but their remains some mystery and intrigue heading into the regular season.
Who will be the starting point guard?
Head coach David Fizdale said following Friday's 113-107 loss to the Nets that he is still unsure who will be given that role for the start of the regular season against the Hawks on Wednesday. Fizdale, in his first season as Knicks coach, had four different starters in five games at point guard, which consisted of Ron Baker, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke and Emmanual Mudiay.
Tags: Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina, Trey Burke
On the premiere of The Adventures of Coach Fiz, the new coach happily takes on all the things New York has to offer, except for one thing.
Knicks rookie Kevin Knox struggled down the stretch in his first NBA preseason, but coach David Fizdale believes the best way for the 19-year-old to grow and improve is to remain in the starting lineup.
"He's what we want to put in that spot and just let him go through the hell of it," he said after Friday night's game, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.
Knox scored just three points and missed five of his six shots in the team's preseason finale on Friday night. He shot 2-for-9 on Monday but made all four of his free thows and grabbed five rebounds.
D'Angelo Russell scored a team-high 18 points and had seven assists to help carry his team to a 113-107 win over the Knicks in a preseason game on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score
The Nets turned in a well-rounded effort, as Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie each chipped in 16 points while Caris LeVert scored 12 points on four three-pointers.
The Knicks fell behind by 14 points at the end of the half, but fought back in the second half as they outscored the Nets in the fourth quarter by seven points. Tim Hardaway Jr. was leading his team in minutes and points when he left the game with a sprained wrist. He finished with 18 points in 26:02 minutes.
Tags: D'Angelo Russell, Tim Hardaway Jr.
Knicks SG Tim Hardaway Jr. said he will be ready to play in the team's season opener on Wednesday after spraining his wrist in Friday night's final preseason bout against the Nets, per Ian Begley of ESPN.
Hardaway underwent an MRI, and Begley said it came back negative. He played 26 minutes, totaling 18 points and one rebound.
The 26-year-old guard is expected to be one of the veteran leaders of this young Knicks squad this season, which means missing him in the season opener against the Hawks on Wednesday wouldn't be the ideal situation for New York. Hopefully rest over the weekend will allow him time to heal and get back on the court.
Tags: Tim Hardaway Jr.
Though Knicks head coach David Fizdale said Lance Thomas will be New York's starting power forward, he suggested second-year point guard Frank Ntilikina could also spend some time at the 3 or 4.
"You see Frank out there because he can guard 3s and 4s," Fizdale said, according to Newsday's Barbara Baker. "But most of the 4s now, how teams are playing, they're playing perimeter guys at that spot. Frank gives me so many options for having a ballhandler that can do multiple things and guard multiple people."
It's not just the fact the Knicks have so much depth at point guard with Emmanuel Mudiay, Trey Burke and Ron Baker (Fizdale said Baker will start Friday's preseason finale against the Brooklyn Nets), but how Ntilikina sizes up against other forwards.
Tags: Frank Ntilikina
Ron Baker and Enes Kanter took advantage of a special opportunity to dress up for Halloween on Wednesday when they visited local schools while donning Thor and Venom costumes.
Baker (Thor) and Kanter (Venom) were filmed walking into a classroom to "scare" children before greeting them and giving away 250 costumes.
Tags: Damyean Dotson
Knicks star F Kristaps Porzingis is frustrated.
The Latvian big man has been forced to watch along this entire preseason as his teammates get ready for the 2018-19 campaign. Porzingis is still rehabbing after his ACL surgery eight months ago, and though his progress hasn't hit a setback, he is growing tired of the same slow pace.
"He's feeling better every day, but it's still that frustrating slow drip for him," Fizdale told the Daily News' Stefan Bondy.
Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson (ankle) will make his return to the Knicks for their preseason finale on Friday night, head coach David Fizdale told reporters Wednesday.
Robinson had to be helped off the court last Wednesday night after spraining his right ankle during the second half of the game against the Nets. He did not return.
The injury happened when Robinson stepped on Rodions Kurucs' foot.
Tim Hardaway Jr. used to be the only Knick that grew up with a professional athlete as a father. Until Kevin Knox joined the team.
Knox' father, Kevin Knox Sr., was drafted by the Bills in the sixth round back in 1994 after four seasons as a wide receiver at Florida State. Despite only playing two games with the Cardinals over his NFL career, Knox Sr. totaled 1,431 yards on 102 receptions with 11 touchdowns over his FSU career that saw a national championship game in 1993.
So, Kevin has grown up knowing exactly what it takes to make it to the pros...
Tags: Kevin Knox, Tim Hardaway Jr., Scott Thompson
The Knicks will waive Joakim Noah before the roster needs to be set on Oct. 15 if they are unable to trade him, reports Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Before training camp, it was reported that the team was likely to cut ties with Noah, who has not reported for any team activities.
Noah, who has two years remaining on his four-year, $72.6 million contract, could be waived through the stretch provision, but how much money the Knicks would save will depend on the terms of a potential buyout.
Tags: Joakim Noah, Danny Abriano
Chris Bosh may never play basketball again, but if he does, the Knicks may be on his radar.
The former Heat star was at Madison Square Garden on Monday to watch the Knicks-Wizards preseason game and told reporters he hopes to play again after blood clots have kept him off the court since the 2015-16 season.
Could the Knicks be a team he envisions playing for?
Knicks starters combined for 41 points as they lost their penultimate preseason game to the Washington Wizards 110-98 on Monday at Madison Square Garden. >> Box score
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina combined for 28 points, while Alonzo Trier, Trey Burke and Mario Hezonja each scored double digits off the bench.
All five Wizards starters, led by Bradley Beal's 20 points, scored in double figures.
Lance Thomas will begin the season as the Knicks' starting power forward, head coach David Fizdale said before Monday's preseason game against the Washington Wizards.
Fizdale said the starting lineups will be open "all year," according to MSG Network's Rebecca Haarlow, but said it is "in the books" that the 6-foot-8, 240-pound Thomas will start at power forward.
The 30-year-old Thomas started 31 of 73 games last season, averaging 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds. As a starter last season, Thomas averaged 4.1 points and 22.5 minutes, while he averaged 4.0 points and 15.6 minutes in 42 games off the bench.
Tags: Lance Thomas
The Knicks said they wouldn't take shortcuts with their rebuild, despite the Timberwolves' Jimmy Butler asking for a trade and listing them among his preferred destinations. And it seems they're being true to their word.
New York has not reached out to the Timberwolves at any point about interest in trading for Butler, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who says a trade of Butler to the Heat recently fell apart after Minnesota tried to re-work the deal at the last minute.
After listing the Knicks, Clippers, and Nets as his three preferred landing spots, Butler had reportedly made the Heat his top trade destination.
The Knicks signed former Columbia F Jeff Coby, the team announced on Sunday.
Coby played in Spain last season with CB Prat Juventud and Cambados Xuven of Liga LEB Oro. He played in 22 games between the two squads, including eight starts, and averaged 7.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 18.7 minutes.
In four seasons with Columbia, Coby saw his role grow over time. He started just 17 games through his first three seasons, but started 18 of 25 games his senior year as he averaged 6.2 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Chris Paul has a message for the haters: Leave Melo alone.
The Rockets point guard defended his new teammate and friend on Friday during a segment on ESPN's The Jump, in which Paul expressed disbelief over the criticism Carmelo Anthony receives.
"Obviously I'm a little biased because that's one of my closest friends," Paul said. "But you know, the disrespect that comes at him at times is unbelievable, you know what I mean? So for us, having one of the best players to ever play the game on our team is a no-brainer."
Tags: Carmelo Anthony, Houston Rockets
The Knicks collected their third straight preseason victory with a 106-100 win over the Pelicans at MSG on Friday night. >> Box Score
Five Knicks ended up with double-digit points, with Tim Hardaway Jr. collecting a team-high 21 points on 6-of-18 from the field and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
Enes Kanter produced another double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds as well as five assists. Lance Thomas and rookie Kevin Knox scored 13 and 12 points respectively. And finally, Noah Vonleh had 10 points coming off the bench.
Once considered a Knicks target in next year's free agency class, Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving announced he plans to re-sign on a long-term deal Boston instead of exploring other options.
"I do have a dream of putting my No. 11 in the rafters one day if I'm so blessed to do that, work my tail off," Irving said Friday, according to NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg. "Obviously a lot of great players have come before me, but to throw my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I'm glad I could do."
Irving, who was expected to be one of the most sought-after players in next season's free agency class that could also feature Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, said repeatedly Thursday he plans to remain a Celtic, with whom he has spent one season after being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Tags: Boston Celtics
Sorry, Knicks fans -- PG Kyrie Irving, who reportedly addressed his long-term commitment to the Celtics with team brass, told season ticket holders Thursday night that he plans on re-signing in Boston. (Boston Globe)
The Knicks have had Irving on their free agency radar looking ahead to next offseason, but they may need to reset their focus on another superstar like Kevin Durant.
David Fizdale has created a special lane for Walt Clyde Frazier in the Knicks' new coaching circle -- and the franchise legend and broadcaster has already begun wheeling and dealing his wisdom to players.
The Knicks coach invited Frazier to the club's practice facility on Tuesday for a lunch with president Steve Mills and a chat with the guards, reports the New York Post.
"Clyde came to the gym the other day and spoke to our guards,'' Fizdale told the Post on Thursday. "Steve invited him for lunch and I previously invited him to spend time together and watch film. I wanted to introduce him to all of them -- the guards -- to let them know he will be talking to them very soon."