Enes Kanter suggests he's not playing because of his anti-China takes, and he may be right

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Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is playing a career-low 6.0 minutes per game this season, and he suggests it may have something to do with his strong stance against the Chinese government.

Kanter may be on to something. He has been vocal on social media about China’s massive human rights violations, and China’s state-run television has pulled Celtics games from its airwaves as a result.

Nov 10, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (13) signs autographs before the start of the game against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden. 
(David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 22: Enes Kanter #13 of the Boston Celtics looks on before during the Celtics home opener against the Toronto Raptors at TD Garden on October 22, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

But the Chinese government is totally against “transgender rights,” and yet the NBA’s relationship with the Chinese government is, by and large, just peachy.

And frankly, that’s the least of China’s human rights violations.

First-year Celtics coach Ime Udoka has been a disappointment early, as the team that was expected to be an Eastern Conference contender is just aimlessly floating in the middle of the pack.

But Udoka said that Kanter’s lack of playing time has nothing to do with his opposition to the NBA’s primary money-maker.

“My thing is strictly basketball. We’re switching a lot and doing some things that probably are not as natural for him and that’s limited his time to some extent,” Udoka insisted. “Nothing basketball-related will be based on (social media).”

Udoka may speak the truth. Maybe Kanter really isn’t a basketball fit. That’s a bit surprising, given that he is 6-foot-10 and appeared in all 72 games with the Portland Trail Blazers last season, averaging a double-double of 11.2 points and 11.0 rebounds.

And it was the Celtics who worked so hard to sign him in free agency this past offseason, then celebrated wildly when they did. But now, suddenly, he is barely seeing the court for “basketball reasons.”

Just like most things when it comes to the NBA and China, what is going on with the Celtics and Kanter seems awfully fishy.

Oct 4, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter (13) reacts after guard Romeo Langford (9) made a three pointer during the second half against the Orlando Magic at TD Garden.
(Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)

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