Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom blasted former NBA player Jeremy Lin for choosing to play in the Chinese Basketball Association and called on him to “stand with Taiwan.”
Freedom, 29, originally from Turkey, has been outspoken on various social and political issues, in particular, being critical of Communist and repressive regimes. Lin, 33, is a guard for the Beijing Ducks.
“Shame on you @JLin7,” Freedom wrote Sunday morning in a post to his verified Twitter account. “Haven’t you had enough of that Dirty Chinese Communist Party money feeding you to stay silent? How disgusting of you to turn your back against your country & your people. Stand with Taiwan! Stop bowing to money & the Dictatorship. Morals over Money brother.”
Lin, who had previously played for the Beijing Ducks during the 2019-20 season, tried to make an NBA comeback and latched onto the Santa Cruz minor league affiliate team of the Warriors in the NBA’s G League last year.
Lin played well, averaging 19.8 points per game and 6.4 assists with Santa Cruz in nine games, eight of which were starts. In May, however, Lin acknowledged that his comeback bid would not be fully completed and announced that he was abandoning his hopes to return to the NBA after a call-up to the league never came.
“For months, I saw others get contracts, chances, opportunities,” Lin wrote on Instagram May 18. “I told myself I just need ONE ten-day contract, one chance to get back on the floor and I would blow it out the water. After all that’s how my entire career started – off one chance to prove myself. For reasons I’ll never fully know, that chance never materialized. But I proved I’m better than ever and an NBA player.”
Lin then announced in June that he would be rejoining the Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association for the 2021-22 season.
“No regrets about the past, excited for the future,” Lin wrote in a June Twitter post. “Still got a lot of basketball left in me and we’ll see where this road goes. Beijing Ducks, excited to be back! Thank you all for going on this journey with me #NeverDone”
Freedom became an American citizen Nov. 29 and changed his surname in celebration of the event. He has routinely criticizing the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to Freedom, the Turkish government put his name on an Interpol list and revoked his passport in 2017. Freedom called the last six years “very rough” with Turkey condemning his actions and him unable to return to his homeland.
Lin became the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent in NBA history when he broke into the league with the Warriors during the 2010-11 season. Lin became a household name during his time with the Knicks in 2011-12. Lin was part of a very small group of NBA players who identify as Asian American or Asian, making up less than 0.5% of the league.
Contributing: Analis Bailey; Greg Dudek, The Providence Journal