Nine months removed from the Celtics dealing Kanter to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team swap, involving the Memphis Grizzlies, Kanter is keeping himself busy, this summer as he gears up for the upcoming season.
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Enes, 29, has been in the NBA long enough to know the importance of taking care of your body during the offseason.
Celtics’ Enes Kanter: ‘I’m Trying to be Vegan’
In fact, while catching up with Whistle, Kanter tried out new sports such as baseball and volleyball in a recent episode of its “Days Off” series. He also opened up about embracing his new vegan lifestyle.
“One of the biggest reasons I’m trying to be vegan is, obviously, the factory farm system and animal abuses,” Kanter said, via Whistle’s Days Off series. “When I was growing up I always thought that eating more meat is going to make you stronger, faster, leaner, and after doing a lot of research you learn that cutting down meat, especially red meat, is going to make you leaner, stronger, and actually, you heal quicker. So, it’s definitely helped me in my career, a lot.”
Another element that’s helped Kanter throughout his career has been religion.
Kanter Talks About Religion, Politics & Hakeem Olajuwon
Kanter, a devout Muslim who’s been unapologetically open about his faith and political injustices, particularly of his home country of Turkey and in the United States, says one of the NBA stars he looked up to growing up was two-time NBA champion, Basketball Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon.
“Ramadan, to me, was so important because I was fasting since I was a little kid, like eight-nine years old,” Kanter said. “One person who really inspired me was Hakeem Olajuwon, who fasted during the NBA Finals. His numbers were so much better. Ramadan came during (the) season. A lot of my friends were asking me, “Are you going to fast,” and I’m like ‘Yeah.” Just because I wanted to show the whole world that I can do it, my mind was so sharp.
“So, I ended up playing so much better that we made the Conference finals that year.”
After averaging 8.1 points while shooting 57.2% from the floor to go with his 7.4 rebounds per game in 16.9 minutes a night throughout 2019-20, Kanter went on to average 11.2 points while scoring at a career-best 60.4% clip from the floor, per Basketball-Reference.com. He also tied his career-high in rebounds (11) per game while playing 24.4 minutes a night.
Kanter most likely will play behind Robert Williams and Al Horford on Celtics head coach Ime Udoka’s depth chart, barring any unforsaken injuries. However, at Horford’s advanced age (35), Enes should see plenty of run throughout the course of the regular season during games in which Al has the night off.