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Enes Kanter began with a hearty wave to the media day throng at the Utah Jazz practice facility.
He then joked his way through 15 minutes of questions, touching on his diet, his Twitter musings over the summer, his abdominal muscles and his slim physique.
If any question existed that Kanter is a different personality from his rookie season, they were laid to rest Monday afternoon. That Kanter was an introvert. This one is affable, a jokester, a bit of a rebel and a comedian.
Will his play be any different?
"I tweeted pictures of my abs because I was proud of the hard work I had put in," Kanter said. "I wanted to drop weight and I wanted to get ready for my second season. It's funny. Al Jefferson said I'm still a rookie because of the [lockout] season. He said because we played 66 games that I still have 16 games left as a rookie."
Kanter became a star on social media this summer, tweeting on everything from women to fitness. Some of the tweets were outrageous, prompting speculation that it wasn't Kanter himself pressing the send button.
He confirmed that it indeed was him. Utah management also weighed in, Kanter said. Some they thought were funny. At other times, he was told to tone it down.
With his new body, the Jazz expect improvement. They want him to be more athletic. They want him to be a bigger force around the basket. They want to be able to trust him in games during crunch time. They want an investment return expected of a third overall draft pick.
"We want to see progress," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said. "He's somebody that we need to count on. He may see more minutes this season. He's got to improve overall."
Good to go
Backup point guard Earl Watson proclaimed himself healthy Monday after missing the postseason with a knee injury. He didn't say whether he would be ready to start camp Tuesday, however. Watson figures to battle with Jamaal Tinsely for the primary backup role.