Enes Kanter is used to voicing controversial opinions, but this is a hot take even by his standards.
The Boston Celtics big man was back in New York on Sunday to play the Knicks, who employed him for a season and a half from September 2017 to February 2019.
Kanter was spotted giving Knicks owner James Dolan a hug at Madison Square Garden, and apparently the gesture was genuine: After Boston's 113-104 win, the veteran forward offered a rare defense of his much-maligned former boss.
"We text. We are actually really cool buddies now,” Kanter said of Dolan, via The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov. "I got no problem with him. Some of the people can have problems with him, but I got no problem with him."
Kanter is in the minority, as many view Dolan as one of the worst owners in professional sports. The Knicks are well on their way to their seventh consecutive losing season and have gone through three general managers and five head coaches in that span.
New York also has failed to land marquee free agents such as Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, a shortcoming that some blame on Dolan's poor reputation. But Kanter insisted the Knicks owner doesn't get a fair shake.
“I will say this, it’s terrible that they blame on this guy every time," Kanter added. "I feel that he had nothing to do with it. You just got to go out there and play basketball. He cannot just push you to go out there and play basketball.
"I feel like people have put blame on him and people are wrong. I feel like he’s a really good dude. And we’re buddies now. I see those eyebrows raising up."
Maybe Kanter had a different experience with Dolan than, say, the fans Dolan has had kicked out of MSG for criticizing him. And Kanter did play some of his best basketball in New York, averaging 14.0 points and 10.1 rebounds per game during his Knicks tenure.
But he likely won't find many who agree with his latest hot take.
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