Enes Freedom greeted with big ovation from TD Garden crowd in Boston

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WATCH: Enes Freedom greeted with big ovation at TD Garden originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Freedom rang from the stands at the TD Garden midway through the first quarter on Wednesday night.

When Enes Freedom, formerly known as Enes Kanter, entered the game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, he was greeted to a massive ovation from the home fans in his first appearance since becoming a U.S. citizen and legally changing his name earlier in the week.

Fans had further reason to cheer for Freedom when on his first play back defensively, he blocked a driving layup from Sixers big man Joel Embiid.

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Freedom, who was born in Switzerland but grew up in Turkey and is a Turkish citizen, has been vocal in his criticism of Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, for years. He had his Turkish passport seized in 2017, and Turkey sought an international warrant for his arrest in 2019.

He wore "Freedom" on the back of his jersey at the NBA bubble in 2020 and recently called out Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James over his relationship with Nike amid allegations of the company using forced labor practices in China.

Freedom is in his second stint with the Celtics after spending the 2020-21 season with the Portland Trail Blazers, averaging 4.7 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per contest off the bench.