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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is the only member of the team’s free-agent class that can boast the title of “returning player.” The big man is set for his second stint with the club, after first signing with them ahead of the 2019 campaign.
This time around, Kanter has a new head coach to play for and a much different roster to play with. Gone are former Celtics’ Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward. Gone is most of the roster he played with – just six players from the 2018-19 team, other than Kanter, are still on the roster. Kanter spoke with reporters at the Celtics’ second day of practice Wednesday and talked about his return to TD Garden.
Here are some of the things he spoke about:
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Back in Boston
The core of the Celtics is similar to what Kanter had before, but with many different pieces around the core.
Despite how different it is, Kanter said this group has been fun to be a part of, with guys talking trash and going at each other on the court.
“Every time we’re out there we are learning,” Kanter said. “They’re playing hard, playing smart and we’re helping each other and we’re having fun. It’s a very interesting group of guys.”
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On working with Ime Udoka
The Celtics hired Ime Udoka to replace front office-bound Brad Stevens for the new season.
This is the first time Kanter has worked with Udoka, but the 6-foot-11 rebounding specialist had some kind words to say about the new hire.
“He’s the type of coach that tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear and he always keeps it 100% real,’ Kanter said. “You know he gives a lot of freedom to his players so I think you know just like it so far. It’s been it’s been great.”
Team chemistry this time around
Now that Kanter is heading into his 11th year in the league, he said his main goal is to work on team chemistry.
“The one thing I’m going to try to do is just make sure that everybody’s smiling, everybody’s happy, everybody’s good in the locker room,” Kanter said. “Because sometimes we might not get the result we want but the important thing is once we get into the locker room you’ve got to stay together.”
The last time Kanter came in, the team was rebuilding chemistry after Kyrie Irving’s spell with the Celtics, so he is a bit familiar with it.