Enes Kanter tells Nuggets to 'take control' of fans after reportedly being told to 'go home to Turkey'

There’s always a bold line in heckling that fans should never cross, yet at least one person one did at Pepsi Center in Denver during Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinal series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Denver Nuggets.

The comment has Blazers center Enes Kanter asking the Nuggets to “take control of your fans.”

Fan heckles Kanter with ‘go back to Turkey’

While the crowd was chanting “Kanter sucks” late in the fourth quarter of Game 2, one Nuggets fan allegedly yelled “Go back to Turkey, oh wait you can’t!”

According to the Denver Post, it happened after Nuggets center Nikola Jokic looked to shove Kanter after a free throw. Kanter fell into Denver’s Torrey Craig, who in turn fell to the court, and a scuffle erupted.

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Kanter, who had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Nuggets guard Gary Harris received technical fouls.

Kanter asks Nuggets to get fans under control

The Trail Blazers center shared his thoughts Thursday afternoon in a tweet that began with his wish to go home. The 26-year-old last saw his family in 2015 and won’t visit due to fears of being arrested or killed.

It also asked the Nuggets to “take control of your fans.” There are at least three more games in the Western semifinals series and at least one more will be played in Denver.

Kanter, a Swiss-born Turk, is outspoken and critical of Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and once called him “the Hitler of our century.” He uses his platform to tweet, give interviews and write op-eds standing up for the rights of Turkish citizens.


League terminates relationship with Turkish twitter

In a tweet after the game, he noted again the censorship he views in Turkey.

Following his tweet, NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum issued a statement noting that the league terminated its relationship with the vendor operating the NBA Turkey account.


“Fans in Turkey can watch all playoff games featuring Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers on NBA League Pass and NBA TV International,” Tatum’s statement read. “The NBA Turkey Twitter was managed by a local vendor and we are terminating that relationship.”

Tatum and the league’s backing of Kanter comes on the heels of the National Basketball Players Association’s statement in support of Kanter.

The NBPA said, “The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) fully supports our players using their platforms to stand up for their beliefs and the principles they support. We stand with Enes and, as with all of our players, will work to ensure that he is treated fairly and with respect.”

The Turkish government sought an international warrant for his arrest in January. While with the New York Knicks, Kanter did not go on a trip to a game in London due to fears for his safety.

Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacts after being called for a foul against the Denver Nuggets in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series Monday, April 29, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter reacted on Twitter to a fan's comment about his home country. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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