In each of the past several years, the Utah Jazz have held an open preseason scrimmage to stoke fan interest in the NBA year ahead, showcase the talents of the players on the roster and, pursuant to the law laid down by the team's veterans, force the team's rookies to participate in a public dance-off. This year, though, the gentle freshman hazing ritual looked like it was going to be relatively brief and low-key, as Utah made just one selection in the 2012 NBA draft ... and while second-round shooting guard Kevin Murphy's free-form gyrations were fun in their way, they left something to be desired.
Something more was needed, and sophomore center/vacuum-abhorrer Enes Kanter felt it was his duty to provide it. As we see beginning at the 27-second mark of the clip below, this was a bad decision.
It seems clear that jazzercise represented 0 percent of the workouts Kanter was doing to drop all that weight.
It is kind of astounding that Enes' literal Running Man was probably the best thing he mustered. His combination of Doing Little Kicks and Attempting A Worm That Was Really Basically Just Two Push-Ups would have been bad enough on their own, but they're especially troubling when viewed in context of the legendary 2009 Jazz rookie dance-off between Kyrylo Fesenko (now in camp with the Chicago Bulls), whose Little Kicks game was incredibly strong, and Kosta Koufos (now with the Denver Nuggets), whose Worm, while far from perfect, puts Kanter's to even greater shame:
You see, Enes? You see the grand tradition you failed to uphold? We don't have video of it, but legend has it that Mark Eaton's preseason Charlestoning was the stuff of legend. And now, it's all tarnished, in a whirlwind of little kicks and small pushups.
There's only one way to remove the stain of Kanter's performance and restore the good name of Jazz rookie bigs' dancing — by having the lone other nominal rookie in Utah's training camp, a 6-foot-11 big man from Wisconsin who has played 56 D-League games and spent time overseas but has yet to play an NBA game, break open the treasure chest of dance moves one develops by spending his college years in Big 10 country and elevate the contest to its former greatness.
Help us, Brian Butch. You're our only hope.
- Sports & Recreation
- Utah Jazz
- Enes Kanter