Nurkic and Kanter are a tier below as individuals, but in tandem provide Portland with the unique opportunity to never be on the floor without someone who commands attention on the low block. Given recent league-wide trends in style of play, the pairing is daring, and risky, but it’s one worth pursuing for a franchise that could use an infusion of more talent.
“I think you’re born with that,” Nurkic said of his brash nature. “You’re born with that and you can develop that through the years. I left my home when I was 14, some small kid from small village back there in Bosnia. There is a lot of experience you go through by yourself and you learn on your own skin. It just maybe more difficult in that period, but it makes you life more easy going forward.
Kanter also talked about how the mental aspect is a necessity in the NBA:
“You’ve got to get under their skin,” Kanter said. “It’s important. Sometimes, basketball is not enough. You’ve got to go out there and play that mind game and take them out of their game. It’s all a part of the game.”