Enes Kanter wanted to win, leading to his decision to sign with the Boston Celtics.

The 27-year-old center inked a two-year, $10million contract with the Celtics earlier this month.

He discussed his decision to head to Boston during an interview with USA Today's HoopsHype.

"It's my ninth year in the league and I understand that, for many people, the money is important," Kanter said.

"For me, the most important thing is being with a team that you're really happy on and playing with a team that's competing for a championship. That was the big thing for me. For everybody else, the money matters [more]. For me, the number one thing was winning."

Kanter began the season with the New York Knicks but was released after the trade deadline. He then signed with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged 13.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in 23 games.

Kanter was also a reliable scorer in the playoffs for the Trail Blazers, who advanced to the Western Conference finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors in four games.

"When I was with the Knicks, the season wasn't going the way that I wanted," Kanter said. "I wanted to go out there and win. I'm glad that I picked Portland [after being waived]. Portland was definitely one of the best stops of my career. It helped me grow into a better player and a better person at the same time."

The Celtics' roster underwent a major overhaul this offseason. They lost Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), Al Horford (Philadelphia 76ers) and Marcus Morris (Knicks) in free agency but signed star Kemba Walker away from the Charlotte Hornets, in addition to Kanter.

"The reason I went [to Boston] is for a championship," Kanter said. "I feel like the team is really young and willing to learn and we have an amazing group of guys. I feel like we can beat any team on any floor. All we have to do is just be good friends and stay together … It's definitely going to be a very, very exciting season."

The Celtics entered last season as the favourites to win the East but finished with a 49-33 record and were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the conference semi-finals.

Enes Kanter is joining the Boston Celtics on a two-year, $10million contract.

The center concluded talks with the Celtics on Monday and his manager Hank Fetic announced the agreement, which contains a player option for the second year.

Kanter is entering his ninth NBA season and Boston will be the fifth team he has played for.

The 27-year-old was waived by the New York Knicks in February, but made himself a valuable asset for the Portland Trail Blazers on a one-year deal worth a little more than $650,000 not long after. 

Kanter averaged 11.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in the 2019 playoffs before the Trail Blazers were swept by Golden State in the Western Conference finals.

He recorded five double-doubles in the postseason and filled in valiantly for the injured Jusuf Nurkic, but Portland traded for the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside to fill their hole in the middle.

Boston, on the other hand, are in need of a post presence, as Al Horford declined his $30.1million player option and signed a four-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Celtics drafted five players in 2019 and lost some notable veterans to free agency this summer, including Kyrie Irving. They also inked former Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker to a max contract. 

Enes Kanter is making headlines for saying something controversial once again, this time about Zion Williamson.

The Portland Trail Blazers center has never been shy about expressing his views and unleashed his latest hot take during a stop on the Herd with Colin Cowherd on Wednesday.

Kanter played down the talent of Williamson, who was taken with the top pick in the 2019 NBA Draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.

"I like Zion Williamson," Cowherd tells Kanter. "He can pass, he's big, he's strong. I think he's got a magnetism – you think he's overrated."

"I kind of feel like he's overhyped," Kanter responded. "I feel like he's Julius Randle with hops."

Randle is a solid player in his own right. He had an excellent year for the Pelicans in 2018-19, putting up career-highs in points per game (21.4) and three-point percentage (34) to go along with 8.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. 

Randle had a monster game when Kanter and the Trail Blazers came to town with a stat-line of 45 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. 

He was not having any of it, using Twitter to remind Kanter of his dominant performance and telling him to "relax bro".

Portland Trail Blazers big man Enes Kanter is already joking about eliminating the Denver Nuggets from the NBA playoffs.

Kanter tweeted that Denver fans should get refunds if they bought Western Conference finals tickets, following Sunday's 100-96 victory in Game 7.

The Nuggets had started selling Western Conference finals tickets despite not yet getting past the Trail Blazers, who won their series 4-3.

Kanter is averaging 12.9 points and 10.6 rebounds in the postseason. He joined Portland after being released by the New York Knicks late in the regular season and has seen an increase in production since Jusuf Nurkic went down with a season-ending leg injury.

Kanter has been a serious asset for the Trail Blazers, giving them physicality, toughness and rebounding.

He has been playing through a separated shoulder since the first round.

The Turkish enforcer's presence will likely be crucial in the Western Conference finals against defending champions the Golden State Warriors.

Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter was not going to let his shoulder injury stop him during Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals. 

In a thrilling back-and-forth battle that went to four overtimes, Portland walked away with a 140-137 victory over the Nuggets to take a 2-1 series lead.

However, Kanter said after the game that he injured his shoulder even more. He explained that he could no longer feel his shoulder.

"First overtime, I think I separated my shoulder more," Kanter said after the game, per ESPN. "I had to tuck my arm into my jersey because I couldn't carry my arm. I'm glad we got a win, man. Whatever it takes. You've got to sacrifice everything. I'm proud of my team-mates."

Kanter initially suffered the injury during Portland's first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5. He was questionable heading into the Western Conference semifinals but has logged 30-plus minutes in each of the first three games.

Despite aggravating his injury even more, Kanter remained in Friday's game. He recorded a career-high 56 minutes and reached his third double-double of the postseason with 18 points and 15 rebounds.

"The whole crowd was cheering," Kanter said. "Dame (Lillard) came up to me and said, 'Hey, one more overtime.' He said this three times. 'One more overtime. Come on, let's play hard.' I didn't want to quit on my team-mate."

Kanter expressed some doubt about his status for Game 4 on Sunday but said he is going to do everything he can to recover quickly.

"Sometimes you've got to make some sacrifices to get a win," Kanter said. "I'll get some painkillers for the next game. I hope I can play. But I'll be fine."

Kanter has made an impact with the Trail Blazers during his short time in Portland, which started in February after he was waived by the New York Knicks. He averaged 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds and made eight starts for the Blazers to close out the regular season.

The Portland Trail Blazers bounced back in against the Denver Nuggets in Game 2.

Portland levelled the NBA Western Conference semi-final series thanks to Wednesday's 97-90 victory.

The playoff clash will shift back to Portland, with Game 3 set for Friday.

Here are three takeaways from the Trail Blazers' series-levelling triumph midweek.

 

Portland's role players step up

Damian Lillard (14 points) and CJ McCollum (20 points), Portland's stars, failed to find their rhythms offensively throughout the game.

The two combined for 34 points but were inefficient from the field as they knocked down just 13 of their 37 total shots.

The Trail Blazers' role players, on the other hand, had a big night, which helped them secure the win. Enes Kanter recorded 15 points and nine rebounds, while Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 11 points, along with 10 boards for Portland.

Rodney Hood came off the bench and knocked down one of the biggest shots of the game. Denver had closed the gap to seven points with a little more than two minutes to play, but Hood connected on a corner three-pointer to extend Portland's lead back to double digits.

The forward later hit a pair of clutch free throws to seal the victory. He finished with 15 points in 27 minutes.

 

Nuggets' shooting off the mark

The Nuggets were terrible from behind the arc in Game 2.

Portland completely took the three-pointer away from the Nuggets, as they finished six of 29 from distance. Denver guard Jamal Murray was two of eight from three-point range while Gary Harris missed all five of his attempts.

The Nuggets — who shot 41.4 per cent from three-point range in Game 1 — eventually began pounding the ball inside in the second half because they were so ineffective from deep. They will need to improve their shooting in Portland. Otherwise, they definitely are at risk of falling behind in the series.

 

Denver need Jokic to score

Nikola Jokic impacted the game in multiple ways.

The Denver star dictated his team's offense from the post, as he typically does. He received multiple paint touches and either kicked the ball out to open team-mates or cutters in the lane. The center was also a factor on the glass.

Yet, Jokic did not look for his shot much until his team were trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter. In total, he finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.

Jokic is a great passer and is clearly the focal point of the Nuggets' offense. The team will need him to be more aggressive moving forward if they want to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Enes Kanter has joined the Portland Trail Blazers for the rest of the NBA season.

The 26-year-old center was released by the New York Knicks after the trade deadline last week and sealed a deal with the Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

Kanter posted on Twitter: "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 the championship.

"Excited to meet my new team-mates, coaches and staff and most importantly the fans. It is a blessing to continue to compete at the highest level! Let's go Rip City."

Portland inked Kanter to a four-year, $70 million offer sheet when he was a restricted free agent in July 2015, but the Oklahoma City Thunder kept him after matching the deal.

Kanter was then sent to New York as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade in September 2017.

He averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds in 44 games for the Knicks this season before he was waived.

 

New York Knicks star Enes Kanter expressed frustration at his reduced role in Monday's 127-109 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, amid speculation the center is to be traded.

Knicks coach David Fizdale has demoted Kanter in favour of giving game time to second-year center Luke Kornet and rookie Mitchell Robinson.

It has been widely reported that the Knicks are planning to trade Kanter in order to free up salary cap space, with rumours of a lucrative move to bring Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant to the Big Apple continuing to surface.

And Kanter, who was on court for 19 minutes and contributed 11 points, voiced his frustration at his situation.

"I was very disappointed," he said in quotes reported by ESPN. "There was nothing to be happy about, so I'm not happy and I definitely don't agree with the decision, of course.

"I'm a player. We are competitors, so [we want to] play big minutes. If you look at the whole year, first 41 games, I did not miss a game. And they put me in fourth [in the] rotation [on Monday], it definitely hurts. It hurts a lot."

The loss to the Thunder marked the Knicks' sixth consecutive defeat after a win against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 4 ended another long losing streak.

Kanter, who is playing his second season in New York, has averaged 14.4 points and 11 rebounds this season. 

 

NBA commissioner Adam Silver declared player safety is his top priority after admitting it was "very unfortunate" Enes Kanter did not travel with the New York Knicks to London. 

Knicks center Kanter opted against making the trip to the English capital due to safety fears amid tensions with Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

The dispute between the player and Erdogan stems in part from the player's support of United States-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the president accuses of being behind a failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government – an allegation Gulen denies. 

Kanter responded to a report that Turkish prosecutors were seeking an international arrest warrant for him by stating they "cannot present any single piece of evidence" of his alleged wrongdoing. 

The NBA commissioner understands the difficult situation Kanter finds himself in, meaning he missed out on facing the Washington Wizards at the O2 Arena on Thursday. 

"My stance is that I think it's very unfortunate that Enes Kanter is not here with New York Knicks," said Silver.

"I understand his reasoning why he elected not to come. There was never a suggestion from the league that he was not welcome on this trip.

"We live in a world where these are significant issues that he's dealing with and I recognise that as the NBA is a global business we have to pay attention.

"There's nothing more important to me as commissioner than the security of our players, so we take very seriously the threats that he has received."

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter's comments about Turkey amount to a "political smear campaign," according to former NBA player Hedo Turkoglu.

Kanter said he would not accompany the Knicks to London for a January 17 game against the Washington Wizards because "there's a chance I can get killed out there" over his outspoken and ongoing clash with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkoglu, a chief adviser to the president, made his feelings over Kanter's comments clear in a Twitter post on Monday.

"We know that he has not been able to travel to many countries due to visa issues since 2017," Turkoglu wrote.

"In other words, Kanter can't enter the UK not because of fears for life as he claims but due to passport and visa issues. This being the long-known truth, he is trying to get the limelight with irrational justifications and political remarks.

"Such remarks constitute another example of the political smear campaign Kanter has been conducting against Turkey as well as his efforts to attribute importance to himself by covering up the contradictions in his sports career. ... It is obvious that this person's remarks are irrational and distort the truth."

The Knicks say a visa issue will prevent Kanter from travelling to England, however, according to The Athletic, the 26-year-old claims there is no such problem and planned to release a travel document as proof. 

Kanter said former Orlando Magic man Turkoglu is criticising him because he is a "lap dog" for the Turkish government.

The dispute between Kanter and Erdogan springs in part from the player's outspoken support of United States-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the president accuses of being behind a failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government.

Gulen denies Erdogan's accusation that he was behind a failed coup.

Turkey's state-run news agency reported in 2017 that prosecutors were seeking that Kanter be sentenced to more than four years in prison for insulting Erdogan in a series of tweets the previous year.

As part of the fallout, Kanter's Turkish passport was cancelled in 2017 and he was held for a time at a Romania airport before returning to the US.

New York Knicks center Enes Kanter is not happy with the Atlanta Hawks.

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins apologised for his ejection, according to Steve Kerr.

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