Enes Kanter was traded to the New York Knicks on Saturday in a blockbuster deal that finally got Carmelo Anthony off the team. The reaction around the league was swift, with many shocked that the Thunder swooped in to acquire Anthony at the last minute.
Kanter, however, was busy with Oklahoma City-area children and was on Periscope when word of his trade went down. After a bit of time, Kanter did finally make his first statement about the move.
He posted a video to Twitter on Saturday, emotionally thanking everyone in Oklahoma City for the way they embraced him during his time with the Thunder.
“I don’t know where to start. I have a lot of feeling but I can’t say it all but I want to start with thanking you guys,” Kanter began. “Shout out to Sam Presti, my teammates, especially Steven Adams.”
It’s been a whirlwind offseason for Kanter, who temporarily detained in Romania after his passport was suspended by the Turkish government. Now wanted for crimes in Turkey, he cannot return to his home country for fear of arrest. Kanter said the way OKC embraced him during his difficult time has meant a lot.
“When I lost my family and when I lost my home, you guys gave me that,” Kanter said. “You guys gave me a home. So that’s why Oklahoma City and this organization and this whole state will be in part.”
Kanter, now in the Eastern Conference, also had a tremendous line about his old team beating Golden State.
“The second is please beat the Warriors for me,” Kanter said. “Please. I’m going to be watching that game, so please beat them for me.”
Kanter stressed that he isn’t upset about what happened on Saturday. And though he didn’t specifically mention Russell Westbrook and others in his farewell, it seems like he understands the deal was something that had to happen for the Thunder, saying “I’ve got not hard feelings. I understand this is a business. I’m not mad or anything like that, so don’t get me wrong. I love you guys. It’s a new adventure for me, New York.”
There’s no word from other Thunder teammates how they reacted to the move, though I’m sure Adams is especially sad to be losing a close friend.