Boston Celtics and New York Knicks veteran claims he has been blacklisted by the NBA for criticizing the Chinese government

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Ines Kanter Freedom, a veteran of the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, says his public protest against human rights abuses by the Chinese government, and the league’s relationship with them led to him being blacklisted by the league and its 30 teams.

Enes Kanter Freedom – who added the third name after becoming a US citizen in November – has long been vocal about human rights issues in China. Especially when it comes to the continuing plight of the individuals recognized as Uyghurs there.

Freedom is among many other NBA figures who have openly questioned the NBA, which is actively seeking to expand its brand in China despite the persecution of Uyghurs. And in a new interview, the 11-year-old veteran claims he is struggling to secure a spot on the NBA roster due to his views and the strong influence the Chinese government has on the league.

RELATED: Sportsnaut 2022 NBA Demo – Predictions for All 30 Teams

Boston Celtics veteran says NBA run by ‘Chinese dictatorship’

Boston Celtics, New York Knicks
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“The NBA, in my opinion, is the most hypocritical organization out there,” Freedom told Outkik on Thursday. “So we need to keep pushing the NBA to defend what’s right. The NBA is a 100 percent American-made organization and run by the Chinese dictatorship. This is unacceptable. Someone, whether it’s the Senate or other politicians, needs to To say ‘enough is enough.’ And it’s not just the NBA. The US institutions controlled by China also include Hollywood and academia. Someone has to stop this.”

Enes Kanter Freedom played only 35 games for the Boston Celtics this past season. He traded with the Houston Rockets in February, then was released in a cost-cutting measure. While on the surface it looks like he might be a player in decline, two seasons ago he averaged 11 points and 11 rebounds in a game in a major role for the Portland Trail Blazers that made it to the NBA. Those numbers, he says, prove he is far from finished as a productive player in the league at just 30, and are evidence of an unspoken agreement within the league to keep him sidelined.

Golden State Warriors favorite to win the 2023 NBA Finals, surprise Los Angeles Clippers with third best odds

“Let me give you a very easy statistic, it’s not rocket science: [in 2020-2021], I played for the Portland Trail Blazers and averaged a double,” Freedom explained. “We did the playoffs. And they tell me after six months I forgot how to play basketball? Even kids on the streets will laugh at the idea.

“I think I could start in a lot of cases right now, but because the things I say are hurting the NBA financially, they wanted me out of the league,” he continued. “Quite simply. I’ve just turned 30, and they’re pushing me to retire. I could easily play another six or seven years. But unfortunately, with a league like this and the players in it like this, it just seems not possible.

Freedom’s best season in the NBA came during the 2014-2015 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder when he averaged 18.7 points and 11 rebounds per game. He was selected with the third pick overall by the Utah Jazz in the 2011 NBA Draft and went on to play with the Thunder, Knicks, Trail Blazers, and Celtics.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: