1. The Culture
The New York Knicks have spent the duration of the James Dolan era searching for a new identity. It’s generally consisted of New York throwing money at the first available star, sacrificing the blue collar culture for the flashy signing.
As Scott Perry, Steve Mills, and David Fizdale attempt to rebuild the Knicks, they’re looking to the past for guidance—and few players embody the traits they’re looking for like Enes Kanter.
Kanter’s defense may not be on par with that of Charles Oakley, but he brings two critical traits to the table: Toughness and physicality. He’s willing to do the dirty work inside, boxing out and banging bodies with some of the best big men in the NBA.
Kanter will also be the first player to dive for a loose ball or defend his teammates in a physical confrontation with a player of any caliber or status.
For the Knicks, a player like Kanter will be essential to the progress made during the 2018-19 season. Nothing is more important to coach Fizdale and the front office than creating a culture of accountability, and Kanter is the type of player who can help them do so.
Kanter will need to improve on defense, but he’s a throwback to a previous era—and that may be exactly what the organization needs.
Come 2018-19, the New York Knicks will have a chance to build for the future with Enes Kanter helping to lead the culture change.