Enes Kanter’s never been particularly afraid to speak his mind, but this morning after shootaround, he wasn’t afraid to compare his new situation and happiness in Oklahoma City with the frustration he felt in Utah. Below is a transcript of the 5-minute media session today. Media questions in bold, Enes Kanter’s responses in regular text.
Tonight you come back and play on a court you’re very comfortable with.
Well I think it’s just a normal game. I’m not overly excited or anything.
As far as the game is concerned, do you feel like you can give your teammates some keys? Steve said earlier, “I can give them some hints on how to beat this team”.
We already did. We already talked about the Jazz and everything, so we are ready.
Enes, talk about your new home. It looks like it’s a good fit for you.
Yeah, definitely man, I love it. I mean that’s the team that I’ve never experienced before, and it’s just, I mean, I actually like playing basketball there. I’m just so comfortable there. Everything goes in the right place, and you know, I’m just really happy to be there.
What are the differences in the system for you? Why is it such a good fit?
I mean, first of all, I mean, it’s everything. I mean, the fans, the coaches, the teams, the [unintelligble] is amazing. Everything is falling into place that I never really felt like that anything before. It’s just so different.
Rumor is that you and Russ are a little bit tight. It’s good for a big man and a point guard, right?
Yeah definitely. I never, he’s a point guard, the best in the league. I never had an actual point guard like that. You know, I never had a point guard. But the thing is he’s just the best in the league, so.
Do you feel rejuvenated? Do you feel like you’re playing with more energy, more passion than in the past because of the new situation?
Well, like, I think the difference is probably that I really like playing basketball there. I think that’s the most important thing. I never liked playing basketball before in my NBA career. And this is the first time I’ve felt like playing basketball there, for my team, for the fans, for my teammates, for coaches, for everybody. That’s the first time.
What are some keys for you guys tonight defensively?
The keys are we just have to be on the same page and focused, we’re just trying to adjust. We think we’re big and we’re trying to push the play out front, and I think we’re just have to go out there 100%.”
Now that you’ve played in a situation you’re obviously very happy in, what didn’t you like about the situation here?
Well, I think, it wasn’t just a one game or two game frustration. It was a three and a half year frustration. I’m happy for both sides. I think it worked out well for both sides. I think I’m definitely happy that I’m part of the Oklahoma City team like that, a winner team, so I think it’ll go well for the future.
What was the biggest frustration over the last 3.5 years?
I will say, almost everything. And I didn’t bring it every night. But I think most everything was a frustration. But you know, I’m still happy for both sides. It worked out for both sides.
It has worked out for each side, and everybody was a winner in this. But were the frustrations off the court, on the court?
I think it wasn’t just basketball stuff. It was just professionalism. It was just, after I see OKC, I was like “this is how NBA teams are.” It was just, you know how like, you’re in a dream, and you have like a superpower, and you just don’t want to open your eyes, you just don’t want to end that dream? Oklahoma City’s been like that to me.
So then would you consider your experience in Utah a nightmare compared to that?
No, I did not say that.
I’m just asking!
No, I still respect them. I still like my coaches here, I still have friends here, some friends here. Not a lot. But still, I’m just saying, I don’t wanna make no comments on them. But I think after I went to OKC, I was like “Oh man, this is how an NBA team is.”
What are those good things you’ve experienced in Oklahoma City that you like so much?
First of all, I mean, we have a leader like Russell. And I love my teammates, and the fans are amazing, I love the city, it’s a clean city. Everything there is just professional, you know, everything they do is just for the players. You just only focus on basketball and go out there and play and do your job. Like I said again, I don’t want to talk about it here again, because I have a lot of things to say, but I just don’t want to say it right now.
Do you miss anything about Utah?
Mountains. That’s it, I guess.