Transcript of an interview Wednesday with Jazz rookie center Enes Kanter.
Max Ergul, Kanter's agent, said his client recently returned to Chicago to work out with trainer Tim Grover after participating in pickup games in Los Angeles. Kanter experienced minor soreness in his right knee after the L.A. sessions, and he's receiving treatment while in Chicago.
Kanter on what he saw in Ricky Rubio: First of all, his pass is unbelievable. I never seen any guy pass it like that before. He just started working on his shot. He's shooting so well.
His focus during training sessions: I haven't played any game in almost two years or something. I'm just working on my conditioning this week with Tim Grover right now. He told me altitude in Utah will be problem for me. I'm just trying to get in game shape because if the lockout is over I'm going to start right up.
Knee soreness: After European Championship, I didn't play, I haven't played 45 days. And after that I just started to play games right after, and that's why I did a little bit overuse. I didn't stretch. It's not a big deal. … Just soreness, yeah.
Finally get a chance to play with Jazz teammates: I mean, I'm really excited. First of all, Monday I'm very excited to meet with my new teammates and play for our fans. It's going to be a great experience. It feels great. The only thing is … the lockout. I'm really unlucky because I couldn't play high school, I couldn't play college and now I can't play NBA. I'm just frustrated.
Good to be around NBA players; helps deal with the frustration: That's really true. I'm going to play [in the NBA] 15 to 20 years, so I need to be around with them and I need to learn what to do, everything.
Which NBA player's given him the best advice: I played with Tyson Chandler and Danny Granger, they helped me a lot. … They just said to 'Go to the basket, go to the basket. Shoot the ball.' When we played — I played with Tyson Chandler, Danny Granger and Ricky Rubio — they all say the same thing. Just go to the basket, no one can stop you, you're too strong.
Confidence level now compared to when he was drafted by Jazz: EuroBasket was very special to me because I finally get to play basketball, play some games. EuroBasket I played with Marc Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki, couple other real good players. I saw where I'm at compared to other players. So I'm just going to work hard right now. Right now I feel more confident because I play European basketball and then in L.A. Right now, I'm going to play in Utah with all the other players. I'm feeling so much better.
Taking in the W.W.E. while living in the United States: Yeah, I've been to wrestling three or four times. … Not on TV, I was actually in the place. … It was great. I'm a huge W.W.E. fan. You know my favorite is Undertaker. It was just great. Maybe, I was just thinking, after my basketball career I can be a pro wrestler. … I saw one in Chicago and the other was in Cincinnati or something.
Brian T. Smith