NBA big-man detained for political views


Enes Kanter has strong political views.
Enes Kanter has strong political views.Source: AP

OKLAHOMA City Thunder centre Enes Kanter is back in the United States after he was held in Romania because his Turkish passport was “cancelled”, he said in a video posted to Twitter.

Kanter, a longtime critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was held by police in a Romanian airport for several hours. Kanter had arrived in Bucharest from Jakarta, Indonesia, as he travelled for his Enes Kanter Light Foundation global tour. He blamed Erdogan for the cancelled passport.

“They said they cancelled my passport by Turkish embassy,” Kanter, a Turkey native, said in the video. “The reason behind it is of course my political views.”

Kanter has spoken out heavily against Erdogan since the failed 2016 Turkey coup, instead favouring the beliefs of Fethullah Gülen. Supporting Gülen has gotten Kanter publicly disowned by his family and made him a controversial figure in Turkey.

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THE San Antonio Spurs will be looking to take a game back against the Golden State Warriors after falling to an early 2-0 series deficit in the NBA’s Western Conference finals.

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Game 3 will be a chance for the Spurs to halt what looks like the inevitable NBA Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Warriors, but they’ll be shorthanded, once again.

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Tony Parker suffered a season-ending quad injury early in the playoffs, while Kawhi Leonard — the team’s leading scorer — remains sidelined with a left ankle injury.

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Follow the action on our live blog below!

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Leonard suffered the injury in Game 1 after a controversial foul from Zaza Pachualia; the Spurs ultimately giving up a 25-point second-half lead to fall 113-111. Game 2 was a one-sided affair, with the Warriors making the most of the ailing Spurs to take a 136-100 victory.

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Entering Game 3, the onus will be on LaMarcus Aldridge, who has struggled in this series thus far, as well as Australian point guard Patty Mills, who’s yet to find his rhythm, in part due to the impressive defensive effort from the Warriors’ Klay Thompson.

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Game 3 tips off at 11am (AEST).

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KAWHI LEONARD OUT FOR GAME 3

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The Spurs announced early Sunday (AEST) that Leonard would not play, due to the left ankle injury suffered in Game 1.

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Kawhi Leonard will not play tonight, per Coach Pop

— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) May 20, 2017

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“In the end, I guess it’s my decision,” Popovich told reporters. “He’s not thrilled that he’s not playing, but he’s not ready.”

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Popovich also conceded that he had his young star’s future in mind when making the decision.

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“That’s part of it,” he said.

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CHECK OUT OUR NBA PLAYOFFS HUB HERE!

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Leonard is a huge loss for the Spurs, who lost by 36 points in Game 2 without him. The 25-year-old has emerged as one of the league’s best two-way players, and was named among the top-three finalists for the NBA’s MVP award.

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Over the postseason, Leonard is averaging 27.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, shooting 52.5 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from behind the three-point line.

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LIVE UPDATES

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BOSTON Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas sat out the second half of his team’s Game 2 loss to the Cavaliers on Friday after aggravating a hip injury earlier in the contest.

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A day later, the Celtics have ruled him out for the remainder of the postseason:

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Thomas initially injured the hip during the third quarter of the Celtics’ March 15 game against Minnesota, forcing him to miss the next two regular season contests. The injury was further aggravated during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Washington on May 12.

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“Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred,” said Celtics Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian McKeon. “The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, and in order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue.”

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Legendary season by @Isaiah_Thomas 💪🏼With the personal tragedy and injuries he’s overcome, getting through game 7 was heroic#thelittleguy

— Danny Ainge (@danielrainge) May 20, 2017

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Shutting Thomas down for the remainder of the playoffs is the right decision. Cleveland led by 41 points at the half in Game 2, and has looked unstoppable in getting off to its 10-0 postseason start.

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There’s no reason to risk any long-term damage when the chances of winning even a single game in the series are so slim, even if Thomas was somehow able to get back to playing at 100 percent.

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Thomas ends what was the best season to this point of his six-year NBA career. He finished the regular season third in the league in scoring by averaging 28.9 points per game, and led the Celtics to the conference finals for the first time in five years with some incredible playoff performances, including a 53-point scoring outburst in a Game 2 win over the Wizards in the second round.

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This story originally appeared on Fox Sports US

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