We recently wrote how the Suns didn’t consider Kawhi during the Draft because he “sweated a lot during his interview.” The NBA is riddled with these kinds of stories. You may consider them brilliant or ridiculous, but one thing can’t be disputed – front office work is high pressure.
This is such a competitive industry; everything becomes a data point in your profile. You not only have to predict a players character or ability to handle pressure, but you know there are a lot of other front offices doing the same thing.
Free agency accentuates this. You have a lot of names on the board; things change minute by minute and someone you think you can count on may sign away the next moment. That’s why having a team of people that are working in sync is so important – you minimize the stress.
When Enes Kanter signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Celtics, it didn’t come as a huge surprise. Boston needs big men and desperately needs rebounding. Kanter brings both to the table. The only surprise was it seemed Portland let him go easily.
His game improved as the playoffs went on, Enes powered through a separated shoulder and was an unexpected hero in several big games. So what happened? Kanter explained to Mark J. Spears in a text message:
Six minutes sounds specific as if they had something else in the works and were on a tight timeline. Still, if you let it get to six minutes and the man has no time to call people he consults with, sounds like this situation wasn’t a highlight of time management. You can understand how a player who played injured to help the team won’t appreciate feeling like he is being pushed around.
So Kanter decided he won’t be treated like that and “told them NO!” The Blazers traded Meyer Leonard for Hasan Whiteside who will be their new starting center while Nurkić recovers from his injury, and Kanter will probably start in Boston. All because there were only 6 minutes to make a decision.
P.S. The other part his text message still reminds us is the horrible situation Kanter is in with the Turkish government. He can’t contact his family directly, so he has to use his brother as an intermediary. Let’s hope this changes soon, and he doesn’t have to miss games in Europe because his safety can’t be guaranteed.