Knicks center to skip trip, fearing assassination
New York center Enes Kanter will not travel to London for the Knicks’ upcoming international game because he believes he could be assassinated for his opposition to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Kanter announced his plan Friday night after a 119-112 win over the Lakers. The Knicks later said Kanter also won’t make the trip because of a visa issue.
New York will face Washington at The O2 arena in London on Jan. 17. He says he can’t travel anywhere except the U.S. and Canada because “there’s a chance I could get killed out there.”
“Sadly, I’m not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter said.
Kanter has been a vocal critic of Erdogan for years, once referring to him as “the Hitler of our century.” Kanter’s Turkish passport was revoked in 2017, and an international warrant for his arrest was issued by Turkey.
Nuggets 123, Hornets 110: Nikola Jokic scored a season-high 39 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, reserve Paul Millsap added 18 and Western Conference-leading Denver knocked off Charlotte for its 10th straight home victory. At 26-11, the Nuggets are off to their best NBA start in franchise history. This also marks the latest they’ve been in first place in the conference since March 16, 1977.
Jazz 110, Pistons 105: Donovan Mitchell scored 24 of his 26 points in the second half, and Utah rallied from an 18-point, second-quarter deficit to win at Detroit. Blake Griffin scored 34 points for the Pistons.
76ers 106, Mavericks 100: Joel Embiid had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in Philadelphia’s victory over visiting Dallas. Embiid hit two key free throws late for Philadelphia, which was without Jimmy Butler for the second straight game due to an upper respiratory infection.
Pelicans 133, Cavaliers 98: Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle both scored 22 points, and New Orleans handed Cleveland its ninth straight loss in a rout. The defeat came a night after Cavaliers coach Larry Drew and his players held a lengthy meeting following a 26- point loss to Utah.
Better days? The Knicks, meanwhile, are hoping Friday’s resilient performance in Los Angeles marks a turning point in their trying season.
The Lakers? They just hope LeBron James feels better very soon.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 22 points as the Knicks snapped an eightgame losing streak. The Lakers dropped to 1-4 without James, sidelined for at least another week with a left groin strain. Los Angeles also played without second-leading scorer Kyle Kuzma, who has a bruised back.
The Knicks blew an early 17-point lead before rallying from a six-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Kanter scored eight of his 16 points down the stretch.