Enes Kanter implies he is being blackballed by NBA over China criticism
Enes Kanter has not played in the NBA since February, and he suggested that he is being blackalled by the league.
Kanter played 35 games for the Boston Celtics last season. They traded him to Houston in February, and the Rockets quickly waived the big man.
Not only was Kanter not picked up by another team for the rest of the season, but he was not signed in free agency this summer. Kanter told Israeli outlet Walla that he believes his criticism of China has prevented him from being signed.
Here is a Google Translate translation of what Kanter said:
“Free agency is open for one month. Normally, I should have already received offers. This summer I did not receive one single offer. The reason is that I spoke out against what is happening in China in recent months. The Chinese market is a big part of the NBA business. So, they will allow talking freely about anything you want until it hurts them financially. As soon as you do that, they will cut you. It is very sad and unacceptable.”
Kanter said he does not regret his outspoken ways.
“I knew there was a price to pay. And I don’t regret my actions. These things are bigger than me, bigger than the NBA, and bigger than basketball. While I am playing in the USA, people are being killed all over the world or imprisoned or tortured in prisons. If this is the sacrifice I need to make, I am ready to live with it,” Kanter said.
Kanter’s opinion should not come as a surprise. In December, the big man said the NBA begged him not to wear anti-China shoes. Some audio that was leaked in July showed that teams did not want to upset China.
Kanter averaged 3.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 11.7 minutes per game with the Celtics last season. The season before that, Kanter averaged 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds in 72 games with Portland.
H/T Euro Hoops