Thunder center Enes Kanter endured a scary situation over the weekend as he was detained in a Romanian airport after his passport was canceled by Turkey. Kanter has been outspoken against Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has resulted in his family disowning him and swarms of death threats.
Speaking to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN at the National Basketball Players Association headquarters in Manhattan, Kanter recalled his troubling weekend experience. At this point, Kanter states that securing American citizenship is top priority.
“Right now I am country-less,” Kanter said. “I am open to adoption definitely. I am going to try to become an American citizen. I have a green card. We will see if they can speed up the process a little bit. It would definitely be nice. Right now my next move is becoming an American citizen.”
Youngmisuk detailed that Kanter’s journey from detainment in Romania to return to the United States required efforts from Homeland Security, Thunder lawyers, Kanter’s lawyers, the NBA and the NBAPA, and Oklahoma Senators Jim Inhofe and James Lankford. Now, Kanter’s sights are set on the 2017/18 NBA season, speeding up the process for his citizenship, and staying out of harms way under the Erdogan regime.
Here are additional notes from the Northwest division:
- The Iowa Energy, an NBA D-League team, have scheduled a press conference for next Tuesday to announce itself as the official NBADL affiliate of the Timberwolves, according to D-League Digest (link via Twitter).
- Jazz forward Derrick Favors has been a fixture in Utah since joining the team in the Deron Williams trade in 2011. Favors, 28, explained to Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune that he wants to stay with the Jazz but it may not be possible. The team will be invested in re-signing Gordon Hayward to a longterm contract, which could eat up most of the team’s salary.”Everyone knows I love Utah, and I love playing for the Jazz,” Favors said. “But I have to prepare myself this offseason to have a great year, whatever city I’m in.”