Last hoops season, Enes Kanter left his native Turkey to test himself against the best American college had to offer and enrolled at Kentucky. Then the ever-so-evenhanded NBA (remember the head of Miami was head of the infractions committee a couple years ago) told him he could not play because he had played for a professional program in Turkey.
So he leaves and enters the NBA draft, where size and raw skill seems a siren song to GMs. The Utah Jazz drafted him No. 3 overall, and he was off on his NBA adventure.
For seven days. Then the lockout. Needless to say, Kanter told the Deseret News he was a little frustrated.
“It’s easy for me to say that I am the unluckiest guy ever. I couldn’t play in college, and right now there is the lockout. The only thing I can do is just wait,” said Kanter…
“I haven’t played in almost two years and it’s hard within that time to go from not playing to being ready for games,”? Kanter added.
Just for the record, there are far more unlucky people in the world. Many more.
Kanter is playing now with Turkey in EuroBasket (the 2012 Olympics qualifying Tournament for Europe). Even his own coach said Kanter seems a little “lost in space,” struggling to find his spots on the court and get in a good rhythm. Which is what we should expect from a guy with a couple years off.
We told you about a fantastic breakdown of Kanter based on the early Turkey tune-ups. In isolation situations at both ends — offense and defense — he showed some skill and promise. But when it came to the team aspects of the game (passing out of the post on the double-team, help defense) he looked lost. That is what the Jazz coaching staff is going to have to teach. But if he learns he could be good.