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Enes Kanter talks Twitter, Turkish national team and more Al Jefferson

April 26, 2014


You arrived in Utah as an 18-year-old. I had no problems with you hanging out in the student section at University of Utah football games since you were 18 years old. Then, you underwent a mental shift last summer.
Injuries are making a player more…mature. I think that’s what it did to me, you know? I mean, and after I saw what Jazz did to the other players, and, this summer, you know, I mean, they changed a lot of things for, ne–I mean, new, young guys.

So I cannot just do what I did, like, last year. You know, I just cannot go out and do some crazy stuffs and stuff. So I had to be, you know, try to be, I’m still trying to become a more mature player on the court, off the court.

And you know, I’m still, like, you know, laughing and having fun with my teammates and stuff, but you know, I’m trying to be more mature player.

I don’t want to force you to share, but you told me the trip back to Turkey last summer was really important to you. How much do you want to share?
End of the season before I get hurt, I want to go to Turkey so bad. You know, I was, like, you know, trying to lose weight too, so if I go there, I won’t gain that much weight. So after, and then I got hurt. And after I got hurt, you know, I couldn’t go to Turkey, like, six-whatever weeks.

Then I ha–I went back to Turkey, and you know, when I’m back to Turkey, like, some stuff that I do it here, they don’t, how can I say, so, they laugh here. They take it as a joke. But in Turkey, they, like, take it, like, really serious.

So that’s why when I’m in Turkey and people started talking about, you know, my tweets and people, and talking about other stuff, so that’s why I just try to become a, you know, like I said before, like, mature guy.

When I was 21, I was drinking a ton and out every night. I didn’t know who I was or who my friends were. Is it hard to be mature at 21 years old in the NBA setting and to figure out if you’re a playboy or Muslim or…?
Well, after I get in NBA, you, like, you, around those age you try to find yourself, like, who you are.

And I think that’s what I’m trying to do, you know, and so when I’m, like, 19 years old, I did whatever stuff. But, like, even like the Jazz, like, texted me, “Hey, de–” like, “Delete those tweets” or “Do this,” “Don’t do this.”

Al Jefferson, especially, you know, would just try to talk to me a lot.

But you know, this year’s been like, you know, slow and stuff, and nobody didn’t really say anything about I did anything bad or anything. So, I don’t have to worry about oh, what I tweeted, what I’m, or what I did last night, what I’m gonna do tomorrow, whatever. So, I’m just, you know, it’s clear in my mind, you know, just relax.

What are you going to do this off-season to be prepared for next season?
[The shoulder injury] definitely affect this year, ’cause you know, I couldn’t really work out like I work, want to last summer, and, because of my shoulder. And, but you know, my shoulder is being really good right now…

Last year, I was wondering, like, how Al Jefferson does it. So, I was, like, sitting on the plane and just looking at him, like, “How do you do it, like, playing 40 minutes? And travel and play another 40 minutes the next game?” You know?

Just, now I realize pretty tough, but you know, this season, now I hope I finish this season healthy, and I’m just gonna go to Turkey and just take a little time off with my family, and then I’m just gonna come back and you know, try to get in good shape and practice how I want to practice.

Your relationship with the Turkish national team isn’t good. Do you hope to repair that? Are you hoping to get back in the good graces of the Turkish national team?
Yeah, definitely one day. I mean, it’s my country, you know? It’s my, I would love, you know, love to represent my country, and you know, but it’s, when the time comes, you know? Right, you know, I think right now, I think it’s a little early.

Crazy political stuff going on in Turkey. It’s nuts, isn’t it?
Kanter: It is pretty nuts. I mean, they trying to do some crazy stuff, you know? I mean, I’m not really politic guy, but after that stuff happen in Turkey, I started follow a little bit. And it just, it’s really crazy.

David Locke: It’s one of the more interesting stories. I mean, it’s one of the better, I mean, really importantly, it’s a Muslim democracy that’s now suddenly having problems. So it’s a very important spot in Amer–in the world. See, you’re growing up. You start worrying about these things when you’re 21 years old.

Kanter: There you go. (Locked on Jazz)

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