Since joining the Thunder at the trade deadline, Enes Kanter has been very good offensively and on the glass. To hear Kanter tell it, the biggest reason he is playing so much better is because he was miserable in Salt Lake City. Via Daily Thunder:
Are you rejuvenated, do you feel like? Do you think you're playing with more energy, more passion than in the past because of the new situation?
I think the difference is, I like playing basketball there. I think that's the most important thing. I never liked playing basketball before in my NBA career and this is the first time I felt like playing basketball there, for my team, for the fans, for my teammates for my coaches, for everybody. So, that's the first time."
[Random question about keys defensively that no one cares about]
Now that you're in a situation you're very happy about, what didn't you like about being here?
"It wasn't just a one game or two game frustration. 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."
What do you miss about Utah?
[Long, uncomfortable pause.]
"Mountains. That's it. I guess."
It's funny, if Reggie Jackson—who was traded from the Thunder to the Pistons in the same three way trade that brought Kanter to Oklahoma City—were to play in Oklahoma City again this year, he would probably say similar things about the Thunder as Kanter did about the Jazz. Like Kanter, Jackson has played played well as a Piston and was unhappy in Oklahoma City, tweeting this out immediately after he was traded:
It's a good reminder that NBA players are human, and sometimes the same day-to-day bullshit that gets you and me down affects their performance on the court.
Photo via Sue Ogrocki/AP