LOS ANGELES: Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter said Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) he’d sought the advice of NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon on how to maintain his level of play while fasting during Ramadan.
“I texted Hakeem, because I met him, like, two years ago and I know what he did in, I think it was 1995, when he won the MVP in the playoffs,” Kanter told reporters as the Blazers prepared to take on the Denver Nuggets in game five of their Western Conference second-round series.
“But I texted him and was like, ‘Hey, how did you fast through Ramadan and play at a really high level?’” Kanter said. “And he gave me some tips.
“He gave me what he was eating, when he would wake up — Like at 4 in the morning — how much water he was drinking and stuff.”
Kanter’s observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset, also precludes him from taking medication for his injured shoulder during the hourse he fasts.
“I took medicine at, like, 4 in the morning and I will take medicine again right before the game, because I can break my fast before the game,” Kanter said. “But I’ll be fine.”
Turkey’s Kanter said he thought the spiritual lift of observing Ramadan countered any physical detriment.
“I think it just gives you so much positive vibes that just go out there to say, ‘You know what, I’m doing this for God, so God (will) help me.’”
Nigerian-born Olajuwon, who powered the Houston Rockets to a pair of NBA titles, told The Undefeated in 2017 that the “spiritual mindset” of fasting gave him the stamina required to play.
“Through Allah’s mercy, I always felt stronger and more energetic during Ramadan.”
George, Westbrook undergo surgery
Oklahoma City Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George have both undergone successful surgeries to fix injuries ahead of next season, the club announced on Wednesday.
Westbrook went under the knife to repair a ligament in his left hand and had also undergone an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee, the club said.
The 2016-2017 NBA MVP is expected to be fit to return to basketball activities in three weeks, the club said.
George meanwhile had elective surgery on his right shoulder to address a tendon tear. He also faces further surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum, the team said.
No timetable was given for George’s likely return, with the club saying only that an update would be given ahead of the 2019-2020 season.
Westbrook and George were key figures once again for the Thunder this season before the team exited in the opening round of the playoffs.
Westbrook averaged a triple-double for the third consecutive year (22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists), the first player in NBA history to accomplish the feat.
George meanwhile averaged career highs in points (28), rebounds (8.2), assists (4.1) and steals (2.21).
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