During an in-depth interview with Fred Katz of The Norman Transcript prior to Game 5, Kanter revealed his love for OKC and even let some of his true desires leak through the conversation.
The New York Knicks big man expressed his disappointment to be seated 15 rows back, expecting a courtside accommodation as a former player and someone beloved by the fans.
Katz explained the reasoning beyond it in the following exchange
Katz: They can’t put you on the big board.
Kanter: “They can’t?”
Kanter: “What does that mean?”
Katz: Because you’re still on the Knicks.
Kanter: “Am I? Am I?”
Katz: Are you going to opt out? You are technically on the Knicks.
Kanter: “Until July 1, yes. We’ll talk to teams. We’ll see.”
Katz: But yes, it’s tampering. I asked.
Kanter: “Wow. That’s crazy. It’s OK. Whatever. I’ll just get up and just wave. It’s cool, though. I’m excited, though, man. I’m really excited about this watching. It’s gonna be awkward. It’s gonna be weird. Just seeing, just watching my teammates play — ex-teammates — playing basketball. It’s gonna be cool. We’ll see.”
The Turkish big man seems to still feel a part of this team and the community, despite spending this past season with New York.
“Man, I don’t wanna say nothing crazy and make the New York fans sad, but this place [was] always special for me,” said Kanter. “It doesn’t matter — 10, 15 years from now — it’s gonna always be in my heart, because it actually was my first home, Oklahoma City… I was just outside. Everybody was yelling. Everybody was — I can’t tell you how often I get texted, ‘Enes! Come back! You should come back! Come back!’ Whatever. I think it just shows how nice the Thunder fans are.”
Kanter can opt out of his contract as soon as this summer in search of a long-term deal, but if the Knicks take the careful approach they've sworn to take over the offseason, it is unlikely that they would take a multi-year risk on a big man that averages 14 and 11 for the season.