If the Knicks prove their doubters wrong and actually make the playoffs, Enes Kanter may want to stay away from any chafing fabrics.
“When I think about the playoffs, my nipples get hard,” the Knicks center said.
Kanter, the walking soundbite, was having fun during his interview at Monday’s Media Day. He often paused while answering questions to glance at the Knicks PR emcee, understanding he’s previously been in trouble for addressing certain topics.
On Monday, he likened NBA games to drunken brawls when asked about mentoring the young Knick players.
“They don’t know how tough the NBA is. Every night is like a bar fight,” said Kanter. “I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a bar fight before. But every night is like a bar fight.”
“Was it good?” Kanter asked the PR director after he wrapped up.
On the subject of the playoffs – which the front office isn’t mentioning for a third straight year — Kanter isn’t the only player including it on his to-do list.
Rookie Kevin Knox has been outspoken about the Knicks making the postseason, and defended that confidence Monday.
“I just feel like we had one of the better summers out of any NBA team this year, this upcoming season,” said Knox. “The work we put in this summer, we got everyone in great shape.
“The energy we had in the locker room, on the court. It’s just fun to be around. And I feel like that we have a bond, a chemistry that’s going to help us on the court. We’ve been together all summer like 14 guys in the gym, playing pick up every day. I just feel like the energy we have right now, it’s going to go on towards the season and we’re going to have a great season.”
The Knicks haven’t been to the playoffs since 2013. With Kristaps Porzingis missing at least half the season following ACL surgery, Vegas sportsbooks are predicting the Knicks will win fewer than 30 games.
Mario Hezonja’s self-assurance has been well documented, and he displayed it Monday when asked to identify his sweet spot on the court. “Everywhere,” the forward said. “Super Mario.”
Hezonja, the No. 5 draft pick in 2015, was the Knicks’ biggest signing of the offseason. But it was only on a one-year deal ($6.5 million), and Hezonja will be a free agent next summer. If he plays well, the Knicks will only have enough money to re-sign him if they strike out on other stars like Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
“This is where I want to play. The financial thing, the contractual thing, is only one year. But our goal is for me to be here a long time,” Hezonja said. “So it’s all on me now.”
Hezonja was an utter disappointment his first two years in Orlando. But he had a breakthrough in the second half of last season after being thrust into the starting lineup.
JOAKIM A NOAH SHOW
Joakim Noah was excused from Media Day. The Knicks and his agent are negotiating a buyout so that he can become a free agent.