Watch CBS News

Enes Kanter On New York Knicks, Kristaps Porzingis & David Fizdale

DJ Sixsmith 

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter loves New York City. He enjoys walking around Times Square and getting Turkish food with his teammates at Aba on 57th street, but he still hasn't been to a Broadway show.

"I have not done a Broadway show yet. I got no time, but people are saying I have to go to a Broadway show," Kanter said in a recent interview with CBS Local.

The Knicks center has plenty of great shows to choose from, but SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical will most likely be at the top of the list. Kanter learned how to speak English by watching the hit cartoon show when he was a college student at the University of Kentucky.

"That cartoon is where I got my English from. In college, I couldn't play and I sat down and watched two shows: SpongeBob and Jersey Shore. I wanted to learn the street language and not the normal language. It helped my English a lot.

Kanter averaged 14.1 points per game and 11 rebounds per contest in his first season with the Knicks. The 26-year-old made his way to New York after being traded for 10x All Star Carmelo Anthony. Even a year later, things are still interesting when Kanter and Anthony bump into each other.

"Melo works out with the same guy I work out with. It's awkward, it's awkward to see him," said Kanter. "He's a very cool guy, it's still weird because he was a legend. Syracuse, New York, Denver, the Olympics, he was a legend. Now when everybody sees me in the streets, they know me because I got traded for Melo. I tried to play my hardest last season. I think the Knicks won the trade."

Enes is determined to make the Knicks a playoff team again. While star Kristaps Porzingis will miss a significant amount of time this coming season recovering from a torn ACL, Kanter believes that new head coach David Fizdale is the right person to lead the franchise to a brighter future.

"The Knicks have been getting a lot of hate. I think it's going to change in a couple of years. I wish I could say this year," said Kanter. "I sat down with Coach Fizdale and talked with him for two hours. He's an amazing guy. He is the type of coach that tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. He's always honest and always real with you."

Enes Kanter
Enes Kanter #00 of the New York Knicks plays against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 23, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Kanter will be heading into his 8th season in the NBA and has played with some of the game's best players like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Gordon Hayward. The Knicks center sees Porzingis as one of the few superstars in the league.

"Superstars make themselves better and everyone around them better. KP is so young, but wants to be the leader. He wants to help himself, the organization and the city."

Kanter's personal goal this coming season is to make his teammates better and make the young guys better. While he's ready to bring the energy back to Madison Square Garden, he's focused this summer on his work with the Enes Kanter Foundation.

"Playing basketball is not enough. I needed to do something bigger than basketball. I started my foundation to give back to the community. The kids are our future. This summer we are going to visit 17 to 18 states. I talk to the kids about how important education is and how important family is. You can't just sit around and play Fortnite all day."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.