Enes Kanter, 2.08 a stateless person of Turkish origin with American citizenship for whom he changed his surname to Freedom, has not received any free agency offer to play on an NBA team this summer. The pivot believes that he has been excluded for his positions against China and the Euroleague, which sponsors Turkish Airlines, for what he says about Erdogan’s regime (by which he fears he will be assassinated).
“I’m 30, I can play basketball 5-6 years more. I can’t go to Turkey and let’s not forget that Turkish Airlines dominates the Euroleague. They invest so much money, so I think they wouldn’t let me play in the tournament.”
Why can’t he find an NBA team? “For the past few months, I’ve been talking openly about what’s happening in China, which is an important market for the NBA. They make you talk openly about what you want, as long as you don’t touch their pockets. When you do, you get cut. It’s sad. and unacceptable. I knew from the start that I would pay the price, I do not regret anything. These things are bigger than the NBA, basketball or me. While I am dribbling a ball in the United States, many people are killed, tortured or imprisoned somewhere in the world. If this is the sacrifice I have to make, I am ready to live with it. “
Between the serious and the facetious he offered himself to Panathinaikos: “I grew up watching Panathinaikos. I loved this team for many years and as a child I saw many of their matches against Maccabi Tel Aviv. Last year mine went there. good friend Mario Hezonja. Tell who reads the interview that I may not be able to play away games in Istanbul, but I would like to go to Athens. “
Regarding the attitude of the Turkish government towards him, he said: “I wish I could say that Turkey is my home, but I don’t know anymore. The last time I went there was in 2015 and since then I have no more. seen my family. This hurts me a lot. People close to me have paid dearly. My father has been jailed, my brother has been expelled from his team, my sister has run out of medicine and cannot to find a job. The authorities forced them to issue a statement denying me, they even took their passports to prevent them from leaving Turkey. “
At the same time, he said he fears for his life. “Of course I’m afraid. I get threats to my life 2-3 times a week and I’m not safe even when I’m in the US. Five years ago, the Turkish regime tried to kidnap me in Indonesia.”
Finally, to what he would ask Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he had the chance, he replied: “I wouldn’t ask him anything. I would just spit in his face.”