Kanter recently spoke again of his love for the club, and this has led Fenerbahce to respond with a press release. “The person named Enes Kanter shared on some of his social media accounts first on June 1, 2020 and secondly today with the same sentences. We would like to inform the public about an issue that he has made twice with the same sentences in a short time, which concerns our club and we need to clarify the purpose of the unknown. Our club did not have any relationship with this person at this stage or in the future, with this person whose name is mentioned side by side with terrorist organizations and whose behavior has been very well known by our community when he left our club. Hereby, we would like to state once again that; The doors of our club are closed forever to those like him and will remain so.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter posted a message on Twitter saying that if he ever returns to his native Turkey, he’ll want to play for Fenerbahce Beko again. Kanter has been labeled terrorist by the Turkish government due to his support of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen. “There is always someone calling me. Thank you, you are not leaving me alone. My dear team and only love Fenerbahce. I wore their jersey with pride and if I return to my country again, it’s the only team that I want to wear its jersey. Thanks and regards to all the board [of the club],” Kanter wrote on Twitter while posting a photo of himself from the days he played for Fenerbahce. He also changed his profile picture to this photo.
Enes Kanter: #RipCity ❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/phOQnneCHQ
Marc J. Spears: New Celtics center Enes Kanter via text to @TheUndefeated on why he didn’t return to Portland. pic.twitter.com/kznF6CUmbU
The Celtics will need to fill a hole at the starting big position, as their only options are currently developing prospects Rob Williams, Guerschon Yabusele, Semi Ojeleye and rookie Grant Williams. One option may be Enes Kanter, who is expressing strong interest in the Celtics per a league source. Kanter is planning to speak with the Celtics and Blazers as free agency opens at 6 pm ET.
Mike Vorkunov: The Knicks have shown interest in bringing back Noah Vonleh, who was one of their most productive players this season, while ex-Knicks center Enes Kanter has received interest from the Blazers, Celtics, Lakers, and the Bulls, according to league sources.
Stefan Bondy: Teams that have expressed interest in free agent center Enes Kanter include the Lakers, Celtics and Blazers, according to a source.
Royce Young: Free agent center Enes Kanter is drawing interest from a number of teams, including the Lakers, Clippers and Kings, according to league sources.
Chris Haynes: Free agent center Enes Kanter is expected to receive interest from the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics on June 30, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
“It was awesome. It was a blessing,” Kanter said. “Because I remember my situation with the Knicks … I wanted to go out there and play basketball, and it was my contract year, so I was like ‘I need to go out there and show them I can play.’ I’m glad that Portland happened. I love Portland, I love the people there, I love the fans there. I just want to go – and Portland counts, too – somewhere I can win games. I’m going into my ninth year. I just want to go somewhere where I have a good situation, have some playing time and just win.”
Casey Holdahl: “You don’t think about your contract, you don’t think about how much money you’re going to get, you don’t think about where you’re going to sign or re-sign. I think the only thing you need to do is just go out there and do whatever it takes to get a win.” — @Enes_Kanter
The Portland Trail Blazers have signed free agent center Enes Kanter, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. Kanter, 26, joins the Trail Blazers from the New York Knicks, where he has averaged 14.0 points (53.6% FG, 31.8% 3-PT, 81.4% FT), 10.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 25.6 minutes in 44 games (23 starts) during the 2018-19 season. He ranks 14th in the NBA in rebounding and has recorded 25 double-doubles on the season. “The addition of Enes fortifies our front court for this critical late season push,” said Olshey. “He’s an impact player with Playoff experience that will be an excellent fit with our style of play.”
Jay Allen: Neil Olshey on the @Portland Trail Blazers signing @Enes Kanter: “The addition of Enes fortifies our front court for this critical late season push. He’s an impact player with Playoff experience that will be an excellent fit with our style of play.” #RipCity @RipCityRadio620
Evan Turner: ENES KANTER, LETS GOOOOO
Enes Kanter: #RipCity
Adrian Wojnarowski: Enes Kanter has agreed to a deal with Portland, league sources tell ESPN
Marc Berman: According to source, Enes Kanter didn’t give up a dime in their agreement to get waived.
Mike Fisher: Sources suggest to me that while #Mavs have $13M in this-season cap too , they are NOT planning pursuit of big men buyout candidates Enes Kanter or Marcin Gortat.
Enes Kanter: #Mecca 🗽🙏 pic.twitter.com/cMHUtMLb2T
Jeff Garcia: Knicks officially waive Enes Kanter. #nba pic.twitter.com/Nd7FfM31Al
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Knicks are releasing Enes Kanter, league source tells ESPN.
Kanter also knows that New York hopes to attract a top free agent this summer. To have enough cap space to sign a max free agent, the Knicks would have to renounce their rights to the seven-year veteran. That’s why Kanter paused Thursday when asked if he sees himself as part of the Knicks’ future. “I would love to be part of the future of the Knicks, of course,” he says.
Enes Kanter vs. the Knicks is just beginning. With Kanter finally letting out his bottled-up feelings, there’s probably only one logical solution — the Knicks center’s departure from the roster in either a trade or buyout.
It couldn’t be more obvious that Knicks coach David Fizdale has no use for Kanter any longer. Kanter, who opted into his contract, probably deserves a lot better than this anyway, plugging away for a franchise that long ago gave up on winning games. Trading Kanter to a contender will be tough unless there’s another expiring contract the Knicks can inherit worth in the neighborhood of $18 million.
As a 27-year-old free agent hitting a marketplace that’s flush with cash, so much of his next contract hinges on the progress seen in 2019. “You always think about [free agency],” Kanter says. “Even if people said ‘Oh I don’t think about it, I’m focused on the season’ it’s always in the back of your head. It can not let you affect your game, but you always think about ‘Hey, what am I going to do?’ ‘Where am I going to go?’ ‘Am I going to stay,’ ‘Am I going to leave?’”
Ian Begley: Because he’s on a one-year contract for next season, Enes Kanter purchased an insurance policy that will pay him $20 million if he suffers a career-threatening injury, he said in a phone interview.
Mike Vorkunov: Talked to Enes Kanter about his choice to opt-in for 2018-19 with the Knicks. He’ll make $18.6 million in the last year of his deal. “I think it was the right choice because also this market is terrible,” he said. “Just wait and play. See what can happen next year.” More later.
Al Iannazzone: Now it’s official. Kanter has opted in, a source said
Enes Kanter: #MakeKnicksGreatAgain 😂
Shams Charania: New York Knicks center Enes Kanter plans to exercise his $18.6M player option today to return to the team next season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports. Enes Kanter: God Damn shams 😂 I haven’t made any decisions yet.
Shams Charania: New York Knicks center Enes Kanter plans to exercise his $18.6M player option today to return to the team next season, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
Mike Vorkunov: If Enes Kanter opts in at $18.6 million as he’s expected to, according to a league source, Knicks will have a non-taxpayer midlevel exception ($8 .6 mil) and the bi-annual exception ($3.4 mil) to spend this summer since they’ll be over the cap. Would expect decision around 5pm.
Ian Begley: Enes Kanter is leaning heavily toward opting in to his $18.6 million player option for 2018-19, per ESPN sources. Kanter will continue to survey the market until his Friday deadline but, barring an unforeseen significant change in the market, he will opt-in, per ESPN sources.
As much as Kanter said he wants to remain a Knick, he revealed his new power agent, Mark Bartelstein, has done his due diligence, and about five teams have emerged with interest in Kanter if he becomes a free agent beginning Sunday. “With Coach Fizdale, I want to stay more,’’ Kanter told The Post in a phone interview Monday night. “I know his mentality, I know how much freedom he gives to his players. It’s going to help my decision for sure. I think he’s going to change a lot of things. He seems like a relationship with him is like a friendship relationship. It’s not a player-coach relationship. I talked to him for two hours and it gives you so much confidence.’’
Kanter would leave $18.6 million on the table if he opts out, so those teams courting him better have cap space. Several agents believe it is in Kanter’s best interest to opt in because of the lack of cap-space money around the league this summer. “I’m going to make the decision on the last day,’’ Kanter said. “I want to take time and see what everyone else is doing. I want to stay with the Knicks. They have great fans, team, organization, people. I would love to stay here.
Enes Kanter has an $18.6-million option that he needs to make a decision on by the end of the month. The Knicks are not expected to give him a multiyear deal if he opts out, so odds are Kanter, who loves New York, will pick up his option. The Knicks would be fine with that.
Taylor Rooks: I asked Enes Kanter if he has a timetable on when he will make the decision whether or not to opt out. He says: “the last minute, the last day, the last second” with a smile.
Robinson, 20, might have found a perfect spot with the Knicks, who are committed to building a team with young, athletic players. Knicks backup center Kyle O’Quinn opted out of his contract. Starting center Enes Kanter is expected to opt out as well, although Kanter has expressed a strong desire to remain in New York.
Ian Begley: Enes Kanter hasn’t yet made a decision on his $18.6 million player option. Opposing teams expect him to opt in. But if Kanter opts out, multiple teams – including Milwaukee – have expressed interest internally in discussing a potential contract with the 26-year-old center.
If Kanter opts out of the $18.4 million final year, the Knicks would have cap space to pursue one of the better names of a soft free-agent class, in restricted free agents Jabari Parker or Julius Randle. A source said Kanter will make the decision by the end of next week.
Bobby Marks: Kyle O’Quinn declining his $4.25M contract will only impact the Knicks cap space this offseason if Enes Kanter decides to decline his $18.6M option. If Kanter returns, New York will be right at the cap. New York will have the $8.6M non tax midlevel and $3.4M biannual exception.
Kanter has been coy about his future, hinting one way or another over the last few months. But his real decision-making will come after the draft June 21. After that, he says, teams will have a better idea of where they’ll stand and their interest in and need for him, so he’ll have the information needed to choose what he wants to do. “The only thing I’m doing right now is waiting for the draft,” he told The Athletic. “After the draft we’ll see what’s going to happen. Because the draft a lot of things can change, for the Knicks and for the whole league. Because people are going to leave. Waiting for LeBron to decide and everything. I’m waiting for the draft to happen and then we’ll see.”
Kanter’s preference remains to sign a long-term contract, and he’ll talk to the Knicks first before any other machinations, but he knows this summer could be a frigid one for free agents. Few teams could have enough cap room to give him the money he would pass on if he opted out. “It’s a tough summer,” he said. “It’s a very tough summer. But we’ll see, though. If the smartest thing is to opt in, I’ll opt in. If the smartest thing is to opt out, I’ll opt out. We’ll see. I’ll talk to the Knicks, too, of course.”
Kanter tweeted Thursday a picture of himself with his body twisted and wrote, “my legs telling me opt out my body’s telling me opt in.” Fizdale said he’s preparing as if Kanter will be back. “As of today, he’s ours,” Fizdale said. “That’s how I look at it. He’s a Knick. Until I’m notified otherwise. “He could have been fooling me but he seemed excited and like he’s really looking forward to this fresh start. The guy’s a heck of a player and he fits the toughness part of what we’re talking about.”
Enes Kanter: My legs telling me Opt out My body telling me Opt in 🤷♂️🤦♂️ #TBT 😂
Ian Begley: Steve Mills on Enes Kanter: “Enes wants to be here in New York,” Mills said on MSG Network. Mills was then asked if the next move is the Knicks’ or Kanter’s. “Really, it’s his,” Mills said. “He has to choose to opt in.” Kanter has a $18.6 million player option for next season.
Ian Begley: Enes Kanter talks to @Royce Young about attending the Thunder game and his potential free agency: “We’ll see what’s going to happen. I definitely want to stay in New York if I can.” Kanter has a $18.6 million player option for next year.
Stefan Bondy: Enes Kanter still sounding like he wants to opt out. Asked about his decision, he told @Fred Katz he’s still on the Knicks “until July 1.” “We’ll talk to teams, we’ll see.”
“I’m gonna be right there [points about 15 rows back]. You know where [Kanter’s manager] Hilmi [Cinar] sits? I thought I’m gonna get seats right there [points courtside]. They gave me sears up there. It’s messed up. It’s OK.” They can’t put you on the big board. “They can’t?” Tampering. “What does that mean?” Because you’re still on the Knicks. “Am I? Am I?” Are you going to opt out? You are technically on the Knicks. “Until July 1, yes. We’ll talk to teams. We’ll see.” But yes, it’s tampering. I asked.
Fred Katz: Enes Kanter, who can become a free agent this summer, on why he’s not traveling: “It wouldn’t be cool, especially before I sign my contract. Then, maybe go. If I die, at least let me get the money.” Kanter had his passport cancelled by the Turkish government last summer.
Ian Begley: Here’s Enes Kanter talking about potentially opting out of his $18.6 million player option to seek a longer-term deal with NYK. FWIW: IF Kanter opts out (which I have my doubts about) & Kyle O’Quinn opts out, NYK could have roughly $18 million in cap space, per @Bobby Marks:
Mike Vorkunov: Talked to Mark Bartelstein, Kanter’s agent about this. He said Kanter has a long ways to go on making a decision on his option and today’s press conference was “much ado about nothing.” “We’re in April. There’s a lot of due diligence and work that needs to be done.”
Adam Zagoria: “All the speculation with Enes is premature. There’s a ton of due diligence that has to be done. The season just ended. We’re not leaning one way or the other right now. We’ll go through that process over the next couple of months.” – agent Mark Bartelstein tells @SNYtv
Ian Begley: Enes Kanter says he wants to be in New York long term. Says it’s accurate to say he’s leaning toward opting out of his $18.6 million player option to seek a longer-term deal.
Kanter, who announced last month that he was hiring Mark Bartelstein as his new agent, has an $18 million player option this summer. It seems likely that Kanter will exercise the option, but opposing executives have come away with the impression that he was leaning toward opting out, presumably to pursue a multi-year contract. The executives referenced above drew those conclusions before Kanter hired Bartelstein, who, along with Mevlut ‘Hilmi’ Cinar, Kanter’s manager, will help guide the 25-year-old through his decision.
Kanter is switching to agent Mark Bartelstein and mulling not picking up next season’s $18.6 million player option, but claims he won’t make a business decision to sit the final four games. “You’re always thinking the business part, but for me basketball comes first,” Kanter said. “We’ve got four games left and the Knicks are still paying me. The Knicks are paying for me to go out there and — if I’m healthy — to go out there to play. So if I feel really good, I’ll go out there and play.
“It’d be really selfish to think about opting in or opting out or thinking about my contract and not playing, giving up on my teammates and my team. It’d be really selfish. For me the Knicks are still paying me, I’m still part of this team. If I’m still healthy I’m just going to go out there and fight.” Kanter is averaging 14.1 points and 11 rebounds on 59.2 percent shooting.
Now even though they are no longer competing for a playoff spot, and they may not next season since Kristaps Porzingis will miss at least the first few months recovering from a torn ACL, Kanter is committed to staying with the Knicks. “This is the place I want to be,” Kanter said. “I’ve said it from the beginning because I know the organization. I love the city, lot of Turkish people. With KP or without KP, I want to be here for sure.
Kanter, who currently doesn’t have an agent, said he’s only thinking about this season. “I’m not saying I’m opting in or opting out,” Kanter said. “I’m going to focus on this season, finish this season. I don’t even have an agent yet. I’ll get an agent first and talk to him about [it]. My thing right now it would be selfish for me to just say I’ll do this, I’ll do that. I’m going to finish this season right, have fun with my teammates and start thinking about the contract stuff.”
You say you want to be here for a long time. What led you to that? Enes Kanter: I remember during the draft I went to see a lot of organizations. But after you play in New York, you don’t really want to go anywhere else. The people around are so cool. I remember maybe it was my second month here. I was thinking, “This place is so cool, I want to retire here.” I remember one of the media guys was asking me, “Is it too early to decide because you’ve been here for not even a half season? Why did you want to decide that you wanted to retire as a Knick?” I was like, “This is the place I want to be.” You play at Madison Square Garden, you see all the famous people. I’m really cool with Ben Stiller.
Enes Kanter hasn’t even spent half a season with the Knicks, but he’s already said he wants to end his career with them. “Is it bad?” Kanter said smiling. Kanter’s future is up in the air, though. The 25-year-old center has an $18.4-million option for next season, and he’s said he hasn’t decided what he will do. Kanter said he just wants to focus on this season.
“You realize after you play for the Knicks, you don’t want to play for nobody else,” Kanter said. “Everything you need is here, the staff, the crowd, the team, the organization, you don’t want to play for nobody else. This is the place.”
It’s been long assumed Enes Kanter will opt into the final year of his contract. The $18.4 million is just too great. But with the 25-year-old enjoying his best season in the NBA, the idea that perhaps this isn’t a given is worth exploring — especially since Kanter says he hasn’t made up his mind. “It’s always on your mind,” Kanter told the Daily News. “But the season is going really well right now. It’s just a contract. I think people worry about it too much and it gets into their head. “People think about it too much and then it affects them, it affects their game, it affects their whole team. When the season is over, that’s the time to think about it.”
The Knicks have not yet discussed the opt-in with Enes Kanter, who’d prefer to keep it on the back burner. “My thing is, ‘Hey, if I make the playoffs I’m good.’ Because if I worry about contracts and money and all this, and if I start thinking about my contract or if I’m going to opt out or not, it’ll be selfish.”
Fred Katz: A source with knowledge of the situation told me “I’d be shocked” if Kanter doesn’t pick up his player option next year. It’s worth > $18M.
The Oklahoma City Thunder has exercised its right of first refusal and matched the offer sheet extended to center Enes Kanter by the Portland Trail Blazers, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We traded for Enes last season with the intention of keeping him as a member of the Thunder for several years to come, and we are excited that he will continue with us,” said Presti. “He adds valuable depth to our roster, diversity to our frontcourt and the dimension that he brings offensively will positively impact our team.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Oklahoma City has informed Portland it has matched $70M offer sheet for restricted free agent Enes Kanter, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
David Aldridge: Source indicates OKC will, as expected, match the 4-year, $70M offer sheet today for big man Enes Kanter, given Thursday by Portland. Thunder GM Sam Presti told the Oklahoman Thursday afternoon that his team’s intention of matching any offer for Kanter hadn’t changed.
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter has signed a four-year, $70 million max offer sheet from the Portland Trail Blazers, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. NBA.com first reported Thursday that Portland was expected to sign Kanter to the offer sheet. A league source told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the Oklahoma City Thunder are determined to match the offer sheet. They now have three days to do so.
Oklahoma City restricted free-agent center Enes Kanter is signing a four-year, $70 million maximum contract offer sheet Thursday with the Portland Trail Blazers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Enes’ deal will include a player option on the fourth year, and a 15 percent trade kicker bonus. Kanter traveled to Portland on Thursday to sign the sheet, and it can be immediately transmitted electronically to Oklahoma City. The Thunder have three days to match the offer sheet and retain Kanter – or decide to let him leave for the Blazers. The clock starts once the signed offer sheet is sent to the Thunder.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Kanter offer sheet is expected to include a trade kicker too, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Bobby Marks: If OKC matches a Kanter offer sheet we are looking at salaries close to $97m. That is a $22m tax bill. Of course that number could go down
Zach Lowe: OKC is just about $2.5M under the tax, so a max deal for Kanter would cost them nearly $40M. OKC will likely match, + then look to deal Novak/Augustin/PJII for $0. But POR is forcing their hand. Lots of teams were rooting for this.
David Aldridge: With lots of cap room post-LaMarcus, Blazers putting an offer sheet on Thunder RFA center Enes Kanter, per sources.
Vincent Goodwill: Sources: OKC offering RFA Enes Kanter a deal starting at 15.5 per and will match any offer sheet
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September 28, 2020 | 12:32 pm EDT Update
How many more years do you feel you can play? Dwight Howard: Physically, I could play until I’m 40. Past 40 if I wanted to. It’s just someone saying we’ll give you that opportunity. I know how to take care of my body. I know what’s needed and what’s not needed. I understand the game because I played in different eras and I can also teach it. I have a lot left in the tank. I’ll never quit on my teammates, I’ll never quit on myself or an organization. There’s been a lot of times where I’m like, ‘F— it, I’m sick of this s—. I’m sick of being lied on, I’m tired of people saying I’m like this and I’m not.’ I don’t work hard. I’m a bad teammate. All the things that I’m not … all the things I had to go through and stick to the plan.
Assuming Grant returns to the Nuggets one way or another, and with Porter and Bol on the rise, it makes the need for Millsap less dire. He filled the role of a decent scorer and defender, who played with a level of consistency needed on the less-experienced Nuggets team. But if Porter can step up into the small forward position, Millsap’s role is less necessary. The other factor is how much money they would have to pay him. However, if Millsap would take the vet minimum, there might be a better chance of him returning.
As a Los Angeles Lakers player, Lue won NBA titles in 2000 and 2001 while playing with Hall of Famers and Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, who like Simmons and Embiid didn’t always get along. As a coach, Lue won the 2016 NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers. LeBron James, one of the best to play basketball, was the headliner of that squad. In addition to being the only candidate with a championship pedigree, he knows a thing or two about dealing with all-time greats.
Iguodala and James went head-to-head in four straight Finals, from 2015 to 2018, when they played for the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. So, Iguodala, who was named the Finals MVP over James in 2015, is no stranger to the tall task ahead. “You just got to have that will, understanding you’re guarding the top talent ever,” Iguodala told The Undefeated. “He’s going to make you pay when you make mistakes. You just try to play mistake-free basketball. Put him in vulnerable situations where you feel like you got the advantage, whether it’s a shot or a pass or where he is defensively.”
Since the 2015 Finals, no defender has guarded James more than Iguodala, who has held James to 44% shooting on 139 field goal attempts, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In the 2020 Finals, Iguodala’s Heat will be the underdog against James’ Lakers. But the 36-year-old forward is confident about the Heat’s chances of winning it all. “We prepare better than anyone I’ve seen in terms of that grit, that grind and embracing,” Iguodala said. “We just have that chip on our shoulder of hearing, ‘You’re not the most talented.’ So, we take that and say, ‘How do we get the most of the guys on our team and make everyone a weapon on both ends of the floor.’ …
What do you mean ‘dumbed down the game’? Andre Iguodala: Well as you see in the bubble, there’s more fouls called than ever. They want high scores. I think more guys are put in a box. It’s catch and shoot 3s, or catch-and-drive real hard to the basket and dunk finish. The little nuances of the game, gamesmanship, it’s not as appreciated or it’s not as sought after or valued as much. I know a lot of guys in the league, like a Jrue Holiday (from New Orleans) or an Eric Gordon (from Houston), they have so much to their game, but the way the game is played now, they’ve taken that out of their games because they said, ‘All right, we want you to shoot 3s. We want you to defend, put your head down and drive.’ And those are two prime examples, where guys are like, ‘Man, this guy was a monster to deal with but the way the game has changed you’re limiting a lot of guys. That’s just the evolution of the game and where it’s going. I think it’ll come back eventually, but like I said, seeing those things I know my value because of my IQ or even at the next level, if I can get to a front office or head a team.
“What should I do to get better?” Howard recalls asking Bryant. Howard continued to The Athletic: “He was like: ‘What you mean? You’re already one of the best in the world. What do you mean? Continue to do what you’re doing, continue to play hard. Work on the elbow jump shot and bank shots.’ I was like, ‘Well, how many shots do you shoot in a day?’ He said he used to make 1,000 shots a day. That’s what I started doing: Shooting and making 1,000 jump shots a day. And the next year (2010-11), I was second in the MVP (race, behind Derrick Rose). “I’ll never forget that. The reason why he said do that wasn’t because he wanted me to shoot all jump shots — it was more so the will.”
Dwight Howard: For me, a championship is … I don’t see it as a trophy or ring, I see it as leveling up. I done played this game for so long and I keep getting to one part and I can’t beat it. It’s like playing Mortal Kombat and you get all the way to Goro, and you can’t beat him. And one day you finally beat him. It’s like: I finally did it. This is amazing. For me, it’s like getting past that last level. That championship level. Since I’ve been in the league, I’ve always said I’m a champion, and that’s a mindset.
Riley has made 17 Finals appearances as a player, coach and executive, accumulating eight of those shiny things in the process. The Heat had no money to sign Durant outright in 2016, but Riley still got a meeting with him in the Hamptons because of a reputation for being an elite, well-run operation. Playing with Wade in Chicago was a year-long Heat advertisement and made it a desired destination for Butler whenever he had the freedom and Miami had the money. “Obviously D-Wade told me about it. I wanted parts of that, the work; the culture, the word that everybody uses. I know y’all are tired of hearing it but it’s real,” Butler said.