Since becoming a member of the New York Knicks, Enes Kanter has expressed a strong dislike of LeBron James, especially when the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar declared himself as the “King of New York.” Kanter said the Knicks won’t fear anyone and made it clear that the title James claimed really belongs to Kristaps Porzingis. However, the rumors involving James’ upcoming free agency have changed Kanter’s way of thinking.
On Monday, Enes Kanter posted a video of a Twitter Q&A. One of the topics discussed is about the real “King of New York.” Kanter urged LeBron James that if he really thinks he deserves the title, he should sign with the Knicks when free agency hits in July. With his king, Porzingis, still recovering from injury, Kanter may have realized that it’s time for someone else to take the throne.
“People keep debating about who is the king of New York…. Hey LeBron, yes, you really want to be king of New York? Come and prove it. I’ll see you July 1st, brother. Good luck,” Kanter said, as reported by Ian Begley of ESPN.
LeBron James could opt out of the final year of his contract with the Cavaliers to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Though the Knicks aren’t included on the list of James’ preferred destinations, the recent hiring of David Fizdale as their new head coach may give them the chance to at least have a meeting with the Cavaliers superstar in free agency, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
However, creating enough salary cap space to give LeBron James a maximum contract won’t be easy for the Knicks. They will need to trade some of their key players and convince Kyle O’Quinn and Enes Kanter to opt out of the final year of their contracts. Kanter, who is owed $18.6 million next season, is reportedly planning not to pick up his player option and sign a cheaper deal with the Knicks.
This is not the first time the “King of New York” phrase was used to recruit James. Last month, a billboard displayed near Madison Square Garden came up with the statement “King of New York? Prove it,” followed by the hashtag #KingJamesNYC18.
As of now, it’s too early to predict where LeBron James will play next season. James and the Cavaliers are currently focused in the ongoing playoffs with the goal of returning to the NBA Finals. Expect more rumors about James as free agency approaches.