Enes Kanter: 'I actually like playing basketball' in OKC
Kanter was back to play a game in Salt Lake City on Saturday for the first time since being sent from Utah to Oklahoma City at this year's trade deadline.
The 6'11' center spent the first three-plus seasons of his career with the Jazz after being selected third overall in the 2011 draft.
Kanter said he grew frustrated with his role on the Jazz and that the main difference on the Thunder is that "I actually like playing basketball there." From ESPN.com:
"I love it," Kanter said of his change of scenery. "It's a team I've never experienced before and I actually like playing basketball there. I'm just so comfortable and everything is in the right place. I'm just really happy to be there."
"It wasn't just a one-game or two-game frustration," he said. "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'm definitely happy that I'm part of the Oklahoma City team, a winner team, so I think it's going to go really well in the future."
Kanter was also asked about the differences between the two teams. From ESPN.com:
"It's everything," he said. "The fans, the coaches, the team, the atmosphere is amazing. Everything is falling into place and I've never felt anything like that before. It's so different.
"It wasn't just basketball stuff. It was professionalism of the team. After I see in OKC, I see this is how NBA teams are. You know how you're like in a dream and you have a superpower and just don't want to open your eyes and end the dream? Oklahoma City's been like that to me."
Kanter added that "after I went to OKC I was like, 'Oh man, this is how an NBA team is,'" according to ESPN.com.
In the 16 games since the trade, Kanter has averaged 17.6 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 56.7 percent from the field. Those numbers are significant increases from his numbers in those categories over 49 games with the Jazz this season: 13.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 49.1 percent shooting.
At 41-31, the Thunder currently hold a three-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, while the Jazz sit in 11th place at 31-41.