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Get to Know: Enes Kanter

December 7, 2012
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From David Locke’s “Get to Know” series with Jazz players.

“And nooooooow, from Turkey, 255 lbs., 6’11”, the Underkanter, Eneeeeeeees Kaaaanteeeeer!”

My mom was a nurse, and she retire right now, and she’s just taking care of my little brother and my sister overseas. You know, she’s a great mom. She always, like, try to take care of me…Whenever I call her, she still saying, you know, “Are you, are you eating right?”…”Go to sleep early.” She still thinks I’m like, I’m her little child. She act like I’m 12 years old, you know. Like whenever my voice gets, like, ow, she say, “Are you sick? Are you taking your medicine? Are you doing this, this?” So she’s like, the best mom.

There’s a third Kanter brother? Take that, Gasols.

Also, I’ll recycle a joke now that I made when Enes was drafted: Dad is a genetics expert and mom is/was a medical professional. Draw your own conclusions.

Which parent was the disciplinarian?
I’ll say her, because, I don’t know, she’s just always like, “Oh, you cannot wear this with this shoes,” or “You cannot, you know, put this tie with this jacket”…”You gotta wear this belt,” or like, “You cannot talk like this,” “You cannot, you don’t put your elbow on the table.” So she always, like, try to discipline me really.

You knew you were in trouble when…
If I didn’t do my homeworks, or if I stay out too late. Play with my friends, or didn’t clean my room, or didn’t make my bed, or didn’t finish my food…I think pretty much that’s it.

You knew things were good when…
You talking about when I’m young, right? When I brush my teeth before I go to sleep, like, clean my room, clean my everything. If I wear nice clothes, not like the same clothes two days in a row. If I did my laundry, if I finish all my food. Let’s see. I think pretty much that’s it.

Greatest pre-NBA basketball moment
My last year when I was in overseas, we won the World Championship with Doga College…I had like 19 points. I had 24 rebounds.

[Locke: What about the game where you put 30 points and 20 rebounds on Jonas Valanciunas in the Europeans?]

Before that game night, we lost against Serbia in semi-finals. So I have like 25 points and 22 rebounds, something like that. So everyone’s talking about, you know, I’m the MVP, whatever. And then the same night, Lithuania lost France in semi-finals, and Valanciunas has like 30 points and like 12 rebounds, something like that. So everyone was talking about, like, we had 3rd/4th [place] game, so whoever wins this game, I’m gonna be the MVP or he’s gonna be the MVP. So that night, so I was like, you know, like, we, we try to win the game. I didn’t care about the MVP or anything else. I just want to win the game.

But also, my coach was like, “…He’s gonna kill you. He’s gonna do this to you, this to you.” So he’s just gassing me up like that…I didn’t say anything. But that night, I just go out there and just, you know, try to do my best. And I had like, I think 35 and 23, something like that. And he got like, he got like quick foul trouble. He had like 7 points. So after the game, I talk to him a little bit, he said, “Almost had you. Almost had you.”…He’s my really good friend. Every European Championship game, I always talk to him. We always like compete each other, rebounds, points. It’s so much fun.

Rapid fire
** First pair of basketball shoes: Puma. P-U-M-A. Puma…The first time I played basketball, I had a hole in my shoes.

** First car you ever drove, and how old were you: I still don’t have a license, but…I was really young. I think I was like 13 or 14…it was a big car, like an American car. I think it was like, Jeep maybe?

** Favorite meal: I like everything…put sushi. Girls like sushi.

** What was on the walls of your childhood room: I had a lot of things on my walls. My [basketball] trophies…poster of Undertaker maybe. Yeah. If you walk in right now, ugh, you wouldn’t want to walk in right now.

** If you were an actor, what kind of actor would you want to be? I would probably pick three. First, like the scary movies actor. Second, comedy. And the third, probably be a superhero.

** Superpower you’d pick: Probably flying…other power is probably like just control things…I used to, like, worked on, like, hours, when I was, you know, telekinetic? I used to work on like hours, when I was young.


** If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be? Megan Fox, Beyonce, and Marilyn Monroe.

** First-ever game winner: When I play overseas when I was 15 years old. It was for some college team. And I had the game winner and I made a shot. I was so happy, and like everyone just jumped on me. It was a great feeling.

** First dunk: When I was 15…I dunked the ball, and I didn’t even care about the game…I remember that game I played really bad ’cause I wasn’t even focus on the game.

** First video game ever played: Mario.

** Worst job you ever had: When I was little, my mom and my dad…always they were taking care of me and everything. And I was like, didn’t know how to appreciate it. And my dad came to house one day with like a lot of cucumbers. And they said, “You have to sell…you have to just go around and sell. Til tonight, you gotta finish it.” So I tried to do it, my, I couldn’t do it. It was so hard.

** Who would you rather play with in their prime, Stockton or Malone? I’ll say John Stockton, ’cause he pass and everything…Karl Malone, my minutes will go down.

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