Kanter Staying Positive, Productive During NBA Hiatus

BOSTON – Being quarantined as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is not an ideal situation for NBA players who live exceptionally active lifestyles. However, Enes Kanter, who is one such player, is still making the most out of his newfound free time.

The Celtics center is discovering new ways to stay physically and mentally active every day, whether it be in the form of maintaining his fitness, providing entertainment for himself and others, or expanding upon his own personal growth by exploring new passions.

“I feel like this is the best time to invest in yourself, to educate yourself,” Kanter said Friday afternoon during a conference call with the media.

In his case, Kanter has been approaching self-investment just like he approaches his game on the court: by going all-out.

The veteran big man has been filling his days by reading books, watching documentaries, working out, and providing entertainment on social media as a way to “keep the fans’ spirits up” during the NBA hiatus.

He’s even picked up a couple of new hobbies, as he has been teaching himself how to cook some of his favorite Turkish dishes, and also how to play the piano.

“I’m really trying to spend my time on some things that I’ve never done before,” Kanter said. “Like my mom always used to tell me, ‘Learn how to cook. You’re going to need it.’ And now, I have been actually ordering Uber Eats almost every day and I’m really trying to focus on how to cook.

“And I love piano, so I’m really trying to learn how to play piano. So, I’ve been very busy.”

Kanter has also been busy trying to stay in shape. As soon as the NBA announced its indefinite postponement in mid-March, the Celtics training staff put together a virtual fitness plan, which Kanter and his teammates have been following at home.

“Obviously we are at home and it’s a little more chill, but the Celtics being on us to stay in shape has been amazing,” Kanter said. “We have these little (virtual) groups of four or five players, and then the strength coaches are coming in on video conference and making sure that we’re doing it.”

Outside of the virtual workouts, the Celtics have been able to stay connected with each other through Zoom teleconferences. These meetings are both entertaining and comforting for Kanter, as it gives him a way to stay involved with his teammates, whom he misses dearly.

“With the Celtics, it’s like your family. And not seeing your family is tough,” Kanter said. “So when we do these conferences, it’s so amazing to just see their faces, see what they’re doing, have conversations with them, and just be with them. Because we’re all hoping that the season is going to resume one day, and we all want to keep that chemistry together even when cannot be with each other. So those (calls) have been very productive.”

Staying productive is what is helping Kanter to get through this difficult and unusual time. He misses playing basketball and being with his teammates every day. He misses the fans and the one-of-a-kind experience of playing inside TD Garden.

He yearns for the day when all of that returns; when he and the rest of the world can go back to living their normal lives. But for now, he’ll make the most out of this situation by staying physically and mentally productive, by investing in his own personal growth, and by trying to keep everyone else’s spirits up until the world moves past this pandemic.


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