Enes Kanter has been given the Maurice Lucas award by the Portland Trail Blazers.
It’s a high honor for Kanter in his return season to Portland. He spent the tail end of the 2018-2019 season with the Trail Blazers. He then spent the next season with the Celtics, helping them in the bubble.
Kanter then re-joined the Blazers and has spent the season as the backup to starting center Jusuf Nurkic. Kanter ended up starting 35 games and played in all 72, showing his ironman spirit.
“The annual award was created in 2010-11 to honor the Trail Blazers player who best represents the indomitable spirit of Maurice Lucas through his contributions on and off the court, as well as in support of his teammates and the organization. In recognition of the award, the Trail Blazers will make a $5,000 donation to the Turkish Cultural Center, Kanter’s charity of choice,” the team wrote in a statement.
Kanter has been crushing it for the Blazers this season as well. He’s shooting over 60 percent from the field this season for the first time in his career. On top of that, he’s hitting double figures for the seventh time in his career.
For those that don’t know, here’s who Lucas was to the Portland community.
“Former Trail Blazers All-Star Maurice Lucas passed away on October 31, 2010 at the age of 58. A beloved member of the franchise and the community, ‘The Enforcer’ was a central figure on the Trail Blazers 1976-77 NBA Championship team. The Trail Blazers honored Lucas by retiring his uniform number (No. 20) on November 4, 1988,” the release said.
A tough guy and an enforcer along with showing that indomitable spirit, Kanter earned this award with his grit and effort. Kanter has been ready to go when called upon, and despite going from the bench to a starter and back to the bench, the big man has stayed engaged.
He’s been everything Portland has needed.