BOSTON (CBS) — On the floor, the Boston Celtics are going to rely on Enes Kanter to pull down some rebounds. Off of it, the center is going to provide the team with some comic relief.
Kanter and his personality were shining bright at his introductory press conference with the Celtics on Wednesday, as he shared the stage with fellow free agent signing Kemba Walker. While Kemba’s leadership was clear throughout the press conference, so was Kanter’s sense of humor. The 6-foot-11 big man isn’t one to hide it, often ragging on teammates, opponents and media pundits on social media, and he couldn’t help crack a few jokes as the Celtics introduced Kanter to his new city.
The fact that the joke came at the expense of Kyrie Irving makes it even better. Asked why he chose to wear No. 11 in Boston, Kanter took a shot the Nike commercial that the former Celtics guard released before last season.
“I want to be the reason that no one else will,” he said, sporting a gigantic grin the entire time. “I had to say it.”
Irving famously made a commercial saying he wanted his No. 11 — which was also his father’s number — to hang from the TD Garden rafters some day. That obviously changed, with Irving signing a max deal with the Brooklyn Nets this summer.
Kanter did admit that No. 11 was his old jersey number as well, but his jab at Irving was a lot more fun.
That was just one instance of Kanter’s jovial attitude on Wednesday. He was sporting a big smile throughout his time with the press, and spoke to the importance of having a loose attitude in the locker room.
“It’s very important for the chemistry. You have to have fun, you have to put a smile on people’s faces, especially in the locker room, especially after a tough game,” he said. “People will try to learn from their mistakes and at the same time start thinking about the next game. It’s important to be that guy in the locker room and put a smile on people’s faces.
“Every team needs one guy like that,” he added. “It’s definitely important to have character, personality. This team already has it, but I’m just going to add a little more.”
Kanter had already won over plenty of Boston fans before his jab at Irving. He called out FS1’s Nick Wright and his awful hair shortly after agreeing to a deal with Boston, already going to war for his new town. And now he’s given them a reason not to trash (or burn) their leftover No. 11 Celtics jersey; they can simply write “Kanter” on some duct tape and put it across Irving for an easy fix.
And just to put a cherry on top for his new supporters, Kanter made it clear that he is also a big fan of Tom Brady, and would love to meet the six-time Super Bowl champ at some point.
“I’m actually a very big fan of Tom Brady,” Kanter said. “I want to meet him, but I wasn’t going to say in a press conference. I was like, ‘Should I do it or not?’ But I’m definitely a big fan of him. I would love to meet him. What he does on and off the [field] is amazing. He’s an amazing player not just for football but for sports. So if he’s listening right now, I want to meet you, my man.”
Perhaps the two could meet on one of Kanter’s cheat days and chat over a fancy meal.