Credit: AFP – Scanpix
Credit AFP – Scanpix

After the former Houston Rockets GM Darryl Morey publically expressed his support in 2019 for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, the relationship between the NBA and China was fractured.

However, both sides were able to put that incident in the past. That is, until recently, when Boston Celtics' forward Enes Kanter criticized the country's leadership, sparking China's reaction again.

Kanter said on social media that China's leader, Xi Jinping, was a "brutal dictator", talking about his government's policies in Tibet.

"I say, 'Shame on the Chinese government,'" he said, wearing a t-shirt with the image of the Dalai Lama, considered a criminal separatist by the Chinese authorities. "The Chinese dictatorship is erasing Tibetan identity and culture."

A video of Kanter discussing what he calls a "cultural genocide" in Tibet also surfaced recently. The Turkish big man posted a picture on his social media with Tibetan flag motifs on his sneakers, spelling out "Free Tibet."

The Chinese authorities were quick to react to Kanter's behavior. Recent Celtics games are no longer available on Tencent, China's internet giant that streams NBA games in the country. Upcoming Celtics matches will also not be available for live stream on the website.

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2-pointers this season

45%
27,0
Points made: 27,0
Accuracy: 45,0%
Place in standings: 16
Record max: 27
Record min: 27
Most made 2FGs: Jaylen Brown