Everything you need to know about Enes Kanter
Your newest Trail Blazer
Future wrestling star? Avid Spongebob Squarepants follower? Best buds with "The Situation" of Jersey Shore?
Meet your newest Trail Blazer, Enes Kanter.
Kanter, who was waived by the New York Knicks following the NBA Trade Deadline last week, signed a deal to join the Blazers for the rest of the season.
Now that he's headed to Rip City, let's take a look at your newest Trail Blazers center.
Weight: 267 lbs
Draft Class: 2011 with the 3rd overall pick by Utah
2018-19 Season stats:
14.0 ppg | 10.5 rpg
1.9 apg | 53.6 FG%
31.8 Three-Point %
He has lived on his own since 16
Basketball initially took Kanter from Ankara to Instabul, where he played for Fenerbahçe SK, a men's basketball club in Turkey.
At 17, he moved to the U.S. to play for Findlay Prep in Nevada and Mountain State Academy in West Virginia. He never appeared in a game for either school, due to a shoe contract he had in Turkey.
Stoneridge Prepatory School in California took him in and he played there for a year before planning to play at Kentucky, which never came to fruition. The NCAA may have not wanted him, but the NBA did.
He was drafted third overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Kanter was almost a Washington Husky
Kanter verbally committed to play for the Washington Huskies in Nov. 2009 over offers from UCLA, USC, Indiana and UNLV. After re-opening his recruitment, Kentucky coach John Calipari flew to Los Angeles to sway Kanter to become a Wildcat over a pickup game at 24 Hour Fitness. He obliged and signed a letter of intent to head to Kentucky.
He never played a game for the Wildcats though, as the NCAA found Kanter ineligible as a collegiate athlete due to the fact he received more than $100,000 in cash and benefits over three years from Fenerbahçe.
Kanter hopes to become a WWE wrestler one day
To say Kanter is obsessed with WWE is an understatement. The 6-foot-11 center introduced himself as The Underkanter at the University of Kentucky’s Blue Madness in 2010 and occasionally brushes shoulders with WWE chairman Vince McMahon and RAW's Paul Heyman.
In an interview with VICE, Kanter said he hopes to pursue his passion as a WWE wrestler when he retires from basketball.
Kanter should get along well with his teammate Damian Lillard, who recently showed some love for WWE's Stone Cold Steve Austin, when he dressed up as the wrestler on Halloween.
He picked up English by watching Jersey Shore and Spongebob Squarepants
You read that right. When Kanter first moved to the U.S., he’d watch Spongebob Squarepants and Jersey Shore to master the English language.
When he learned Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of the Nickelodeon TV show had died in 2018, Kanter shared a photo on social media to pay his respect to Hillenburg with a photo of him in a Spongebob t-shirt.
Kanter also recently connected with Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of MTV's Jersey Shore through DMs, who he offered tickets to attend a game. Wouldn't it be interesting to see The Situation courtside at a Blazers game?
He has no problem speaking his mind
Whether he’s getting into on-court scuffles with LeBron James, sharing videos telling a kid to burn their Kevin Durant shirt, or praising Colin Kaepernick with his #ImWithKap posts, Kanter owns who he is.
You've probably also seen Kanter's name in the news lately as he has been battling questionable allegations related to his home country of Turkey.
He’s ready to get going in Rip City
Upon news of his signing in Portland on Wednesday, Kanter took to social media to share excitement for his new team.
“I am pleased to announce that I have signed with the Portland Trail Blazers for the remainder of the season. I look forward to helping the Blazers achieve the ultimate goal of competing for a championship. Excited to meet my new teammates, coaches, staff and most importantly the fans. It is a blessing to continue to compete at the highest level. Let’s go Rip City.”