Former Kentucky center Enes Kanter had an important decision to make after he was waived by the New York Knicks on Feb. 7. As a proven scoring big man, Kanter was expected to be a somewhat attractive commodity on the open market and ultimately had his pick between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Kanter signed with the Blazers six days later on Feb. 13 and has since averaged 10.4 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, making eight total appearances while playing over 18 minutes in those games. But he recently stated his reasoning for choosing the Blazers over LeBron James and the Lakers, citing his desire to “be drama-free”.
In an interview with Colin Cowherd on The Herd, Kanter explained: “I looked at the chemistry [the Lakers] have and I saw the, you know, all the drama that’s going on,” he said. “I was like, you know what, I just wanna be drama-free, finish the season drama-free. Go on a good team, good culture, good coaching staff, good players. Just want to enjoy basketball, finally.”
Coming from Kanter, someone who seemingly enjoys the limelight, this is surprising and incredibly telling of the Lakers and the puke-covered organization they’re attempting to run. If Enes Kanter thinks the Lakers locker room is potentially toxic, it’s probably very very toxic. The reasons he listed for choosing the Blazers: “good team, good culture, good coaching staff, good players” emulates everything about Portland and what they represent, which is the exact opposite of the team in L.A. right now.
I’m a huge LeBron fan, and wanted this Lakers team to do well, but everyone – from the front office, to the coaching staff, to the players, and especially LeBron – is to blame for this disaster. Good on Kanter for choosing a situation that would benefit his career instead of going for the shine of L.A. His defense will be a liability come playoff time, but he’s going to be an important part of Portland’s second unit offense in the postseason.