Loyalty is a funny thing. Most people have it in some form, but it manifests itself differently for everyone.
Enes Kanter’s loyalty, in particular, is quite funny. Kanter, a center, spent three years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, including two seasons alongside Kevin Durant.
Kanter often spoke about how loyal he was to the Thunder organization, which made things pretty interesting when he was shipped to the New York Knicks in a preseason trade for Carmelo Anthony. But if anyone was expecting Kanter to change his tune after being on the other side of things . . . well, he didn’t. Instead, he doubled down.
While openly enjoying his time in New York, Kanter has repeatedly made statements about his love of the Thunder. After Oklahoma City knocked off the Warriors earlier this year, Kanter even took to social media to celebrate the team’s victory.
As if that weren’t enough, Kanter took things to a whole new level this weekend. After his new team hosted (and beat) his old one, Kanter made a very bold statement by claiming that the Thunder will still be the team to beat in the Western Conference.
Enes Kanter still believes the Thunder are the best team in the West: “Once they get the chemistry together, I think they gonna beat Houston, Golden State” pic.twitter.com/q3Ro0xhuUk— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 16, 2017
In short, Kanter stated that the Thunder’s three stars (Anthony, Paul George, and Russell Westbrook) are still getting acclimated, and that once they have chemistry on their side, they’ll be a better team than the Warriors or the Houston Rockets.
This is the part of the article where I remind you (and Kanter) that the Thunder are currently 14-15, in 8th place in the West, and are 25th in points scored per possession. You can draw your own conclusions, but I don’t recommend drawing the same ones that Kanter is.
That said, Kanter isn’t alone in thinking the Warriors are no longer the league’s elite. Former player Paul Pierce somehow predicted the Thunder would win the title, and Rockets center Clint Capela recently said of facing the Warriors in the playoffs that, “I expect to beat them.”
Capela’s statement is harder to get upset about, since he actually plays for the team he’s talking about, and since Houston is, in fact, really good.
Still, if you’re of the belief that the Dubs will run through the West again this year, these kind of statements sure are fun to hear. And they could be a lot of fun to reflect on come June.