Celtics' Enes Kanter Talks NBA Bubble, GOAT, Russell Westbrook in B/R AMA

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistAugust 6, 2020

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter holds a ball during warmups before the start of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
Mary Schwalm/Associated Press

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter has carved out a long NBA career as a scoring big man, but he's also taken on an important role as an outspoken political voice in the fight for human rights in Turkey. 

During the NBA hiatus, Kanter continued his activism by launching a campaign for political prisoners in Turkey. 

Kanter and his Celtics teammates have taken part in the NBA's leaguewide movement for social justice in the United States since the season resumed July 30. 

Taking time from his busy schedule, Kanter sat down with Bleacher Report for an AMA that hit on a variety of topics. 

The following is the full transcript from the AMA session.

          

@DekeGeke: Pros and cons of the NBA bubble?

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My favorite part is being around my teammates. During quarantine before this, you say you miss basketball but the thing you miss most is being around teammates, having fun and joking. There aren't many activities here, but pool, volleyball, golfing and fishing and stuff...just being around them is fun, this is your family for the next three months. Let's make the most of it.

I think the down part, I'm single and my family situation but looking at my teammates, some of them have kids, their wives are pregnant, they're missing their families. Think that's the toughest part, a huge sacrifice for players.

           

@BayLegend: Who is the greatest NBA player of all time?

I think I'll put MJ definitely number one. You always go between MJ and LeBron, if they play one on one I'll go LeBron. But overall MJ.

           

@daprisonmike: Do you like Russell Westbrook?

I don't understand the hate he gets, man. People see him yelling, but he plays with a lot of passion. I say this on many outlets, but he's one of my favorite teammates of all time. People only see Russell on the court, but off the court he's a really good teammate, and all the charity work he's done. I loved playing with Russ.

         

@therealGM: What was your "welcome to the league" moment in the NBA?

In college I was always hearing about rookie hazing. When I came to the league, my rookie year was tough. I carried pink backpacks, served food and drinks on the plane. I remember once I was taking a shower, and Gordon Hayward hid my clothes and phone. The reason was because I forgot to bring donuts to practice. One of my rookie duties was to bring donuts to practice. So one time I forgot, and they were so mad. So they hid my clothes and phone while I was taking a shower. Gordon Hayward made this contract that said everytime I forgot the donuts, it was a $500 fine. He literally made me sign this. From that moment I never forgot. Gordon and I still joke about that today with us both being teammates again.

          

@Not_JerryJones: If you could give one piece of advice to younger athletes what would it be?

Basketball is changing so much. On the court, just work on your fundamentals. Off the court, educate yourself. Now, when you become an athlete, you have a platform to inspire millions of people. When they put the camera or mic on your face and ask you to talk about issues that matter to the world, you want to be able to say a few words. Educate yourself and try to inspire as much as you can.

       

@Not_CarsonWentz: What is it like playing with Jayson Tatum?

It's unbelievable. I've played on a lot of different teams and haven't seen someone get so much better. He was super good at the beginning of the season and right before this bubble. People always talk about how good of a player he is on the court, but off the court he's one of the best teammates. Always brings energy, pure leadership, tries to make his teammates better. I think in a couple of years he's gonna be in the MVP conversation.

            

@noyou123: How is Kemba's knee doing?

It's good, getting treatment. Right now we obviously need him for the playoffs, really bad. He's one of our leaders. He's doing good, I don't think the fans should be worried. That's Kemba Walker, whenever he goes out, he takes over.

        

@BayLegend: Who's the funniest player on the Celtics?

Grant Williams. He's a rookie but what he brings to the table is so much, not just on the court but off. He always brings positive energy, smiles, jokes around and stuff.

            

@GoIrish9: Who is the toughest team/player to go against in the NBA?

To me, if you don't count this year, in previous years it was definitely Golden State. I lost the Western Conference Finals twice with OKC and Portland. But the toughest player to guard is probably James Harden...going in between James and Giannis. But I'll probably pick James Harden.

        

@MakeWay4Zion: What's it like playing with Tacko Fall?

First time I watched Tacko in summer league, I was like, this dude is going to be a rockstar. Not a superstar, a rockstar. His personality, character is so humble and down to earth. Playing against him, people don't know what he's capable of on the court. He's a really, really good basketball player. He was undrafted, but people don't know how good he is. With more experience and confidence, he'll definitely get major minutes in the league.

      

@yaakgma: One player to dunk on who would it be?

Probably Steven Adams. Everytime I go against him, he talks a lot of trash.

         

@JPParker21: How does it feel when you're walking down the street being 6'10"?

Sometimes there are moments you don't want to be seen or recognized. As a PG or SG you can maybe get away with it, but when you're 6'11 walking on the street, there's no way of hiding. But it's part of it. I understand how fans feel. It was like when I met my idol, The Undertaker. When I met him my knees were shaking.

       

@CrazyPacersFan: Who do you think is the best big man of all time?

Hakeem. What he did on and off the court, his post moves, footwork, just so amazing. I watched his 30 for 30 on ESPN and was so inspired.

         

@yaakgma: Favorite moment on the Knicks?

The Christmas game. We lost it, but seeing that vibe was amazing. Especially when you play for the Knicks and you see all the celebrity rows. Some of the games you stop playing and just look at who came today. Shakira came, Jimmy Fallon came, Ben Stiller came, Tracy Morgan came, Ronaldo came. So I'm like oh man this must be my favorite town of all time. The vibe is definitely my favorite. We would talk to the celebrities after if we won the game.

         

@JayB_JayT_FTW: What is the Celtics biggest weakness if any?

We are a very young, talented team. I haven't seen any weaknesses in us but I feel like we need to just focus on us, not let anyone distract us or our goals. Just go out there and focus on what we need to do.

        

@GC215: What is your favorite part about playing in Boston?

You play for a championship every year. Boston is so amazing, not just basketball but football, hockey, this and that. Fans expect to go to Finals every year, you have to bring your A game every game. That's one of the most fun parts, the culture.

       

@Celtic777Nation: What is your favorite restaurant in Boston?

Boston is a very international city, so there's food and cultures from all over the world. There's this one Turkish restaurant, very high class, very good Turkish food. I took Tacko there too and he loved it.

    

@DekeGeke: Who is your celebrity crush?

I don't think I've ever had a celebrity crush.

       

@HotelTrivago: What was your favorite cheat meal you've ever eaten over the course of your career?

I think one time I pretty much...it was too much...burgers, pizza, hot dogs, sushi in the same meal. I think i gained around 5-6 pounds after one meal. But cheat meals are awesome. Probably some of my best cheat meals are in IHOP.

       

@BRNFL: Chick-fil-A or Popeyes?

Popeyes.

       

Universal AMA Questions

What is your favorite game or play of your career?

I think last year when Dame hit that crazy shot over Paul George. I have seen a lot of crazy shots, but that was definitely the craziest and best one I ever had seen in the NBA. People don't know, he actually works on that shot a lot.

 

Go-to pre-game song or soundtrack?

We just listen to the DJ that day. One day it's Kemba, the next it's Tatum or Jaylen. We listen to whatever they listen to.

        

How far do you think the moon is from Earth?

Oh man. I never even...i have no idea. Let me pass.