OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter spoke with reporters for the first time Saturday since fracturing his right forearm by punching a chair during the game against the Dallas Mavericks. He said he apologized to his teammates for his "mistake."
"Of course it's like a really sad thing because like, I mean because you're letting your teammates down when you make a mistake like that," Kanter said. "I mean your coaches down and stuff. But the only thing you can do is just, you know, you learn from it. The one thing you know I wish we could go back [in] time and then I could take it back. But mistake happens and we just got to learn from it and control your emotions."
Kanter fractured his arm when he attempted to punch the seat of a padded chair in frustration. The seat of the chair tilted up as he swung, with his arm catching the metal edge instead. But Kanter said it was a series of events that built up his emotions to eventually lashing out on the chair.
"It was just frustration because I know this team, my teammates, all my coaches, these fans, the whole organization trusts in me and I was trying to not make any mistakes during the game," Kanter said, "and especially it was a back-to-back game and then like I turned the ball over a few times and then I felt like really bad and I was thinking oh man I'm letting my team down. And then I came to bench, I was frustrated because I felt like I was letting everybody down and I was pretty frustrated and I hit my arm."
Kanter underwent surgery Friday and will be re-evaluated in four weeks, but he could miss up to two months, according to league sources.
"I don't want to put no pressure on myself or the medical staff or anybody," Kanter said of his timetable. "I just want to get healthy and get back on the floor as soon as possible."
Kanter said after he hit his arm on the chair it felt "a little weird" and after looking at it knew he needed to get an X-ray. He immediately went to the locker room, and the imaging confirmed the fracture.
Moments before he hit the chair, Kanter also slapped the floor in a burst of frustration. He said it's not the first time he's punched or hit something out of emotion.
"Not that hard, obviously," he said.
Kanter, 24, is one of the Thunder's most effective offensive players and one of the best bench scorers in the league, averaging 14.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in just 21.6 minutes per game.
Kanter, who has a well-known presence on social media, said he's been seeing some of the jokes about the nature of his injury, but as he typically does, is laughing it all off.
"They were just making a lot of jokes about it," Kanter said. "I remember someone on a website did an interview with the chair and asking it some questions. A lot of people just making fun of the chair and all this stuff. You know, people are going to talk and there's nothing you can do about it except get back on the court as soon as possible."