Turkish head coach sticks up for Enes Kanter

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Yesterday we brought you word how a highly-respected, old school Turkish national team assistant coach ripped Enes Kanter as not ready for the NBA. Which would be pretty bad news for the Utah Jazz as they drafted him No. 3 overall back in June.

Today came the rebuttal, with the honors going to Turkey’s first year head coach Orhun Ene.

He put this on the Turkish Federation Web site, the translation is via Hoopshype.

“As the head coach of Turkish National Team I’m not the only one who’s happy about the performance of Enes Kanter’s in the national team. All my assistants, all of the executives, to sum it all everybody is happy with Enes and every one of us strongly believe that he will be very successful both in the NBA and Turkish National Team” said Ene.

“Although he didn’t play for nearly one and a half year he quickly adapted to our team and established a position where he can show his basketball skills. Though he is very young what he can do on the basketball court is unbelievable. I believe that he’ll even be better before Eurobasket 11 in Lithuania starts which is a great news for us.”

I’m not going to pretend to know the dynamics of the Turkish national team coaching staff. But I will add this reminds me a little of how Tex Winter and Phil Jackson used to work — Winter was Jackson’s conscious. Winter could say things publically about Shaquille O’Neal or Kobe Bryant that Jackson could not because Jackson needed to preserve a relationship for motivational reasons. If Tex said Kobe was shooting too much, Jackson could smooth it over and still make sure the message was heard.

Not sure if that is the dynamic here, that’s just what it reminds me of. Jazz fans, go ahead and thing the head coach is spot on if you want.

Jazz boost international bona fides with new minor-league coach

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Martin Schiller has been named coach of the Salt Lake City Stars, the Utah Jazz’s NBA G League affiliate.

Schiller previously served as an assistant coach of MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg in Germany and replaces Dean Cooper. He was an assistant coach for the Artland Dragons from 2010-15.

Schiller has also been an assistant coach on the German National Team since 2015, where he worked with Jazz assistant coach Alex Jensen.

Schiller hails from Vienna, Austria, and Stars vice president of basketball operations Bart Taylor lauded him for his international experience and player development background.

The Jazz organization is known to have close relationships with the international basketball community. The Jazz currently have eight international players.

Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 with Celtics

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BOSTON (AP) — Newly acquired guard Kyrie Irving will wear No. 11 in Boston because the Celtics already have retired the numbers he wore in college and with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Irving wore No. 11 at two New Jersey high schools before switching to No. 1 at Duke. He wore No. 2 with the Cavaliers for the first six years of his NBA career.

The Celtics retired No. 1 for founder and original owner Walter Brown. They retired No. 2 for former coach and general manager Red Auerbach.

In all, the Celtics have retired 21 numbers, with Paul Pierce’s No. 34 next in line for the TD Garden rafters.

 

PBT Extra: Cavaliers’ new GM aces first big test with Kyrie Irving trade

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Everyone in the NBA — heck, nearly everyone living in the Western hemisphere — knew Kyrie Irving wanted out of Cleveland. That should kill the Cavaliers’ leverage and make it hard to get enough quality back.

New GM Koby Altman — the guy thrust into the job when David Griffin was shown the door — pulled it off brilliantly.

That’s what I talk about in this new PBT Extra. With Isaiah Thomas and Jae Crowder, the Cavaliers remain the team to beat in the East this season. The Brooklyn Nets pick gives them flexibility going forward, whatever LeBron James decides to do next season.

First time at the plate in the big leagues and Altman crushed it to straight away center field.

Cavaliers-Celtics deal first offseason trade involving players who just met in NBA Finals or conference finals

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The Cavaliers and Celtics played in last year’s Eastern Conference finals. The teams were widely expected to meet there again.

Yet, Cleveland and Boston just completed a blockbuster trade – Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick.

That seemed odd.

In fact, it’s unprecedented.

That is an incredible fact, one which speaks to LeBron Jamescachet. The Cavs are emphasizing this season, LeBron’s last before a player option, by loading up with veterans Thomas and Crowder. With LeBron still reigning in Cleveland, the Celtics are delaying their peak by acquiring the younger Irving.

Adding to the intrigue: the Cavs and Celtics are still favored to meet in this year’s conference finals. At minimum, they’ll face off in a(n even more) highly anticipated opening-night matchup.