Enes Kanter: I told Knicks teammate, if you fight, I’ll pay fine

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The Knicks trailed the Trail Blazers by 26 in the fourth quarter last night.

But New York center Enes Kanter, on the bench with a back injury, had a solution.

Kanter, via Ian Begley of ESPN:

“I’m not going to tell who, but I told somebody, ‘Hey man, go out there and fight with somebody. It will get the energy up.” No, I’m serious. If you go out there and just hit somebody or just fight with somebody, get a technical foul, I will pay for the fine, I don’t care. Just go out there and do your thing. Because we need that energy, we need that fight. It doesn’t matter if we’re down by 25, a fight, get a technical foul, the crowd is in it, and they’re gonna get nervous.”

Midway through the fourth quarter, Knicks forward Michael Beasley started an altercation by forearming Jusuf Nurkic in the chin. Frank Ntilikina then pushed a held-back Nurkic.

This is comical on a couple levels:

1. Kanter spent all of last season riding for Russell Westbrook, but when Warriors center Zaza Pachulia laid out the Thunder star and stood over him, Kanter did nothing. Essentially paying a teammate to fight only increases Kanter’s reputation as a faux tough guy.

2. The Knicks were on a 14-1 run when Beasley tried to agitate Nurkic. A lengthy review to determine the penalty – technical fouls for Beasley and Ntilikina – killed momentum, and the resulting free throws gave Portland three points. New York never seriously challenged again in a 103-91 loss.