Enes Kanter Free Throw Line Dunk Legit?


Enes Kanter posted a flashback Throw-Back Thursday video on his Facebook today

He hadn’t played competitive basketball in two years, and the last time he had it was as a men among boys. Suddenly, a workout video emerged in the days before the 2011 NBA draft of Enes Kanter dunking from just below the free throw line and everywhere else.

Granted, it wasn’t against anything more than an imaginary orange cone, or chair, but it was enough to convince many a fan that Enes Kanter was their man heading into a soft draft.

Enes Kanter tossed out a #TBT (Throw-Back Thursday) today that reminded me that an eyebrow rose when the video first surfaced.

The Enes Kanter #TBT post

Here’s the video in it’s entirety.

Personally, I was skeptical from the moment of the release of the video, believing the above-the-rim play was staged somehow, that the stanchion had been lowered to beef up the unknown’s draft status, like special effects used to trump up a trailer for a terrible sequel movie.

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Nothing about Enes Kanter suggested he possessed a game above the rim among the high flyers of the NBA. I was convinced the short film had been edited to make his draft status rise, to sucker in the likes of Kevin O’Connor, the Utah Jazz GM who had been chasing the “next Pau Gasol” for years.

Despite Kanter’s (recent) admission that he did his best to avoid going to Utah, the Jazz drafted him anyway.

There’s just no way that Enes Kanter could possibly dunk from anywhere near Dr. J or MJ dunk contest territory on a full-size, 10-foot basket, right? It had to be lowered — I figured anywhere from six inches to a foot — for the dunking displays in the exhibition video, surely intended to make another sucker be born.

With a little photoshop magic, we can find out (don’t worry, I’ve done this before, on an alleged Phil Jackson dunk picture).

The first step is to find a picture we can use as a baseline. We need something we can drop measurements on. This was as close as I could screencap with both the rim and Kanter in the frame.

Enes Kanter allegedly dunks from just below the free throw line on a 10′ rim. But does he?

Next, we have to set the parameters.

We know the rim is ten feet from the floor, so we wanna set up a grid, in feet, increments of twelve inches — ten spaces to the rim.

We also know Enes Kanter was 6′ 9.75″ without shoes and 6’11.25″ with shoes, so 6’10” tall is a good base to work from for these purposes.

Enes Kanter dunk from 2011, with grid

Kanter is coming down from the dunk, just touching the floor, in the video, one knee slightly bent, but his upper body also fully extended. The difference will be negligible, a couple of inches at most.

But we can’t quite see his right foot, so let’s steal his left one and put that where the landing, right one would be. There’s a few inches to spare on the bottom square of the 12 inch grid anyway.

Raise your hand if you just thought of the Seinfeld Spare a Square episode. But I digress…

Attempting to discern if Enes Kanter really did dunk on a ten foot rim in a workout video

That came out relatively seamless, actually. And also places Kanter’s foot about where it would have come down, if we’d had a full view from the video. It lines up nicely with the imaginary line we could draw in the middle of the floor.

Mythbusting the Enes Kanter workout dunk

Time to measure.

Enes Kanter dunking on a 10-foot rim: Confirmed

How about that! Myth confirmed. Enes Kanter did indeed dunk from just inside the free throw line on a full-size basketball stanchion in the workout video in question.

Pretty impressive stuff.

Myth confirmed: Enes did indeed dunk on a 10-foot rim from just below the free throw line

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