What Enes Kanter is doing for the Blazers in these ‘offs is great, 18 points in this game is great, but I have to take issue with the narrative surrounding him. No, I’m not talking about his whole dealio with his home country or whatever, because I’m not about to make comments about that right on the internet where everyone can see them lest some goons come to my house and try to beat me up. I’m too smart for that. No, I’m talking about his injury situation.
“Separated shoulder”. That is supposedly the name of the affliction that is currently besetting Kanter. But here’s the thing. I’m looking at these clips, and they’re reaffirming what I already gleaned from watching the game live: Kanter’s arm is still very much attached to his body. When I think “separated shoulder”, I’m thinking totally separated. As in the arm and the body, normally connecting at the shoulder, are no longer connected. At all. Like, his arm should just be chilling out in a tub of ice in the locker room waiting to be reattached while the rest of Kanter goes out and dominates Nikola Jokic. But what I’m seeing here is Kanter using BOTH arms to do things. Sure, he’s favoring one over the other, and maybe the other isn’t operating at 100 percent efficiency, but “separated” is taking it WAY too far. I’d even forgive him if it was only barely hanging on, like if it was being prevented from falling off by a single tendon and a few muscle fibers. But it is seriously affixed to his torso.
The NBA is feeding us lies, people. They want to increase the excitement of these playoffs by pretending that Kanter is literally missing an arm and managing to play anyway. They know that people will want to tune in to see a one-armed Turkish dude with a provocative Twitter account take on a 7-foot fat Serbian PG with a Coca-Cola addiction. Who wouldn’t want to tune into that? But don’t believe them. Kanter is just a two-armed Turkish dude with a provocative Twitter account and actually all that stuff about Jokic is accurate.