SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz were down by as much as 16 at one point against Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday, but they came back to win and several players said some recent trash talk from Enes Kanter spurred them on to victory.
Kanter spoke to ESPN prior to Saturday’s game, and Kanter had some things to say about his former team after the Jazz traded him to Oklahoma. Click here for details on those comments.
After the Jazz won 94-89, Jazz players and Kanter spoke with FOX 13 Sports’ Bailey McMurdie about the game and the impact the off-court comments had on the match up.
Trevor Booker said they were determined to overcome the early deficit.
“We got off to a slow start," he said. "We knew we didn’t want to get embarrassed… we just picked up the slack.”
Gordon Hayward said their comeback was motivated in part by Kanter’s comments.
“…it kind of pissed of us all off honestly, you know, it just fueled the fire for us,” he said after the game.
Fans were especially loud when it came to Kanter, booing when he was introduced and again whenever he touched the ball. They also cheered when he was fouled. Several Jazz players even went out of their way to keep Kanter’s hands off the ball while the clock was stopped, see the video above for footage of one of the swats.
“Whatever you can use as motivation, you gotta use it,” Booker said. “The crowd got into it, you know, the crowd helped us out a lot, and that’s Enes’ fault. They’re usually great, but tonight they were extra loud, and you can blame Enes.”
Kanter spoke to media after the game, and he wasn’t looking to apologize. He said, over and over again, “I don’t care.”
Kanter said: “I don’t even care if they boo me…. I don’t care if every time I touch the ball they boo me, I like it better. I like the pressure.”
He also said he didn’t want to retract any of the negative things he said about the Utah Jazz.
“That’s what I feel, and I’m not taking nothing back,” he said.
See the video above for more of the comments from Kanter, Hayward, and Booker.
The Utah Jazz play next on Monday at the Timberwolves. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m.