Trail Blazers

How Enes Kanter gains mental strength from his teammates

Trail Blazers

As a rookie in the NBA, one bad game can impact the rest of the season.

At least, those were the thoughts that Enes Kanter had coming into the league back in 2011. The 6’10” big man from Zurich, Switzerland was selected No. 3 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz.

The 10-year veteran, now with the Portland Trail Blazers, has carried the same message to rookies today struggling with mental health when they get their first exposure in the NBA.

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Kanter discusses more in our series HeadStrong, diving into the importance of men’s mental health:

“Obviously, the season is tough. I realized, in my tenth year, everything can affect your career,” said Kanter. “Your relationships off the court or your minutes or your performance. So that’s the one thing I’m always trying to help the young guys. I remember when I was like my first few years in the league, by how one bad game, I was thinking about ‘now I’m going to have a whole bad season.’ One thing you need to do, but if you get support from your teammates, very important.

You see those guys so much, they become your brother. I think for me, to get my mental strength, it comes from my teammates and coaches.

Enes Kanter

Hear more from Kanter in the video above.

This season with the Trail Blazers - like his previous time in Portland - Kanter has backed up center Jusuf Nurkic. With Nurkic currently receiving from successful wrist surgery, Kanter was thrust into the starting lineup once again. 


He is currently averaging 10.3 points, 10.2 rebounds per game through 17 games with Portland this season.