Since signing with the Boston Celtics as a free agent this offseason, Enes Kanter has quickly developed into a fan favorite.
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After he joined the team, Kanter took on the No. 11 jersey which had previously been worn by Boston villain, Kyrie Irving. At the time, Kanter joked that he wanted to be the reason that nobody wore the number again, a sentiment that Irving had expressed during his early time with the Celtics.
And recently, Kanter took another joking shot at Irving.
At Celtics media day, Kanter was asked if the No. 11 was given to him or if he took it. He responded that he "took it" and explained exactly why he did it.
"First of all, it was my old jersey number of course, when I was in Oklahoma City. And after I came here, this jersey number was a guy who shall not be named. But it was just fun, because I gotta bring some positive energy, not just to the team but to the whole city, the whole state. So for me, it was just fun because I saw a lot of people were taping and writing their name and stuff."
Of course, the "guy who shall not be named" is Irving. And the reference of "he who shall not be named" comes from the Harry Potter franchise, where Lord Voldemort is never actually referred to by name. So clearly, Kanter is having some fun here and the jabs at Irving were just a part of his mission to bring that positive energy to the fans.
And taking his jersey also gave the team some reason to keep around their No. 11 jerseys by taping and writing Kanter's name over them, as Kanter mentioned.
That said, Kanter did go on to praise Irving's skill set after taking that minor shot at him.
"But in the end, I respect the guy a lot as a basketball player. Obviously he's one of the best point guards in the league, but it was just fun, because now the fans are pumped up and we're all fired up to go."
The best part about this praise? Kanter actually followed through on not referring to Irving by name. We'll see if he continues to do this or if it was intentional, but either way, Kanter is definitely having a lot of fun with his new team. And his attitude towards Irving will help continue to make him a fan favorite in Boston.
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