Just under two weeks out from their game against the Washington Wizards in London, the New York Knicks have decided that Enes Kanter won’t be making the trip with the team due to fear for his safety.
Kanter broke the news that he feared assassination by spies under Turkish president Recep Tayyip Edoğan’s regime to reporters after the Knicks’ surprise win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
“I talked to the front office and they said I’m not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president,” Kanter said, via New York Daily News.
Erdogan- the lunatic – has been widely criticized for failing to protect women’s and human rights, rejecting free speech and widespread corruption.
“There’s a chance I can get killed out there. So that’s why I talked to the front office. I’m not going so I’m just going to stay here, just practice.”
Fair enough – NBA Games are great and all, but they’re certainly not worth dying over (especially not a game between the Knicks and the Wizards).
“It’s pretty sad because it affects my career, my basketball. Because I want to be out there, but just because of that one lunatic guy, that one maniac, I can’t go out there and do my job.”
And is being murdered a real threat?
“Oh yeah. Easy. They [the Turkish government] have a lot of spies there. I can be killed easily.”
This isn’t the first time that Kanter has clashed with Erdogan – the Knicks center faces a four-year prison sentence if he should ever return to his homeland.
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