Commissioner Adam Silver Says Enes Kanter Freedom Hasn’t Been Blackballed By The NBA

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NBA free agent center Enes Kanter Freedom was waived by the Rockets on Feb. 14 and has yet to find a new home.

The 29-year-old spent the first half of the season with the Celtics, often speaking out against the NBA and Lakers forward LeBron James for continuing to do business with China amid the country’s ongoing genocide against Muslim Uyghurs. For doing so, Kanter Freedom told the New York Times Thursday via text that it’s easy to understand why he was released.

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize why I got little playing time and was released,” Kanter Freedom said. “But it does take people with a conscience to speak out and say it’s not right.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver refuted Kanter Freedom’s claim and said he spoke with him during the season and expressed his support for Freedom and his right to speak on issues he believes in.

“We spoke directly about his activities this season,” Silver said. “And I made it absolutely clear to him that it was completely within his right to speak out on issues that he was passionate about.”

Silver added that the NBA isn’t the only company that does business in China, yet the league is the one being singled out.

“Virtually every major U.S. company,” Silver said. “So then the question becomes, ‘why is the NBA being singled out as the one company that should now boycott China?’ It’s very difficult for the league to practice foreign policy.”

As for Kanter Freedom, his 11th season in the NBA saw him average a career-low 11.7 minutes on the floor. He averaged 3.7 PPG and 4.6 RPG as Boston’s backup center. In the 2020-21 season with the Trail Blazers, Kanter averaged 24.4 minutes a night with 11.2 PPG and 11.0 RPG.

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. I have not watched the NBA in years, does averaging a double double mean anything now? I would assume with no defense and a million shots/points per game the double double has lost meaning. In any other sport I would say if he could help a team win, they would sign him. But the NBA, much like a lot of woke companies, care more about appearance and twitter than results. But, I haven’t watched a game since Kobe was in the league so what do I know.

  2. Skeletor’s comments are a classic case of straw man. Who is singling out the NBA? There are a huge number of companies that are called out for being woke and still supporting Chinese slavery practices. The NBA is just a huge vocal social justice org so their hypocrisy is in your face.

    • This is the correct answer. NBA went all in on social justice and is the only major sports league doing big business w/ China. They are sending 2 conflicting messages, constantly getting involved in US politics/shitting on America while looking the other way for that China money.

      Only thing is EKF is a 29 year old journeyman player. He has the skill to be a bench player on almost any roster but his talent doesn’t outweigh the problems he’s causing for the NBA to walk a tightrope w/ China. It’s going to take a superstar player to speak out to really force the NBA’s hand.

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