In what was the worst-kept secret came to reality on Thursday when the Knicks and Enes Kanter ended an acrimonious relationship that needed to end months ago.
Yes, Kanter did all he could to get himself released by bashing the Knicks almost every day these last few weeks. Here lies the rub: Why is it a player’s relationship with the Knicks always end rocky?
All the Knicks do is poison a working relationship with their player at the end and guys leave bitterly whether it’s Antonio McDyess, Stephon Marbury, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis and others to name a few. This is what they are good at for the last two decades. Instead of winning games and building an environment for success, they sure know how to get guys out of town.
It should make one wonder why a free agent would waste his time and talent playing for an organization that loves to create chaos and misery. It’s hard to believe free agents such as Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Jimmy Butler and others are not aware about what goes on at Madison Square Garden.
If Porzingis wanted out of this mess, this should raise doubts about the Knicks’ chances of getting a free agent.
It’s sad in so many ways. Madison Square Garden should be a fun place to go to work. After all, it’s the world’s famous arena and it’s the mecca of basketball. It’s in the heart of New York City. It’s a place where guys raise up their game and where players enjoy playing as visitors. It certainly was at one time during the early 90s when tnen-Knicks president Dave Checketts was running the franchise and the Garden. Playing for the Knicks should be an honor and a privilege.
It has not been the case since James Dolan ran the Knicks in 2001. There has been too much drama and losing. Coaches and executives come and go. Players leave with an image that is tarnished after winning with other teams. Madison Square Garden is as contaminated as the Garden of Eden after Adam and Eve made the unfortunate decision to eat the fruit.
Kanter’s departure that came after Porzingis’ departure is par for the course. It’s the way business is run at the Garden. Nothing ends well.
Kanter wanted to be a Knick. He took pride in being one. He enjoyed playing in front of the fans. He gave the Knicks everything he got every game. He was a warrior. He was one guy that stood up to LeBron James, who was mocking the Knicks last season. He was a guy that was made to play in New York.
For his efforts, the Knicks disintegrated him by slowly not playing him. No one could have blamed him for speaking out after being the one guy that enjoyed playing for the Knicks.
Kanter should be commended instead of being condemned for speaking out about the inner workings of the Knicks. He told everyone what they should be hearing and what they should know. Instead, he turned out to be a bad guy by the Knicks and their fans. It’s hard to understand.
There are bigger problems that goes on with the Knicks than couple of disgruntled employees speaking out. Until the Knicks change the way they do their business and creating a work environment that is conducive to success, it’s going to be the same old story.
It’s hard to believe Dolan and Knicks president of basketball operations Steve Mills will figure it out now when they haven’t figured it out forever. They are too dumb to know what’s going on, and they lack self-awareness about what’s going on with this Knicks organization.
These guys are set in their own ways. They have zero inclination to change. They don’t seem to grasp what modern players do. It’s just one thing or another.
If Phil Jackson and Donnie Walsh could not change the culture, who can? Dolan and Mills are hellbent on making sure they run the show, and we all know how it goes.
Forget about European players ever playing for the Knicks as long as David Fizdale is coaching them. He has zero use for them from his time with Marc Gasol in Memphis and now with Kanter. Porzingis noticed this, so he wanted out. It’s a label this coach will have hard time getting over with.
Dumping Kanter will not change anything. Even Dolan and Mills have to know that. The problem still persists, and it will always continue as long as those two are running the Knicks.
Instead of real changes or celebrating wins, it’s about the little things such as dumping another disgruntled Knicks employee.
What else is new?