Celtics

Enes Kanter has support from Mass. Senator as critic of Turkish president

Enes Kanter has support from Mass. Senator as critic of Turkish president

Enes Kanter is a good basketball player, but he's also well-respected in the political realm for his advocacy off the court.

Kanter, a Turkish national and outspoken critic of Turkey's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, got a shout-out Monday night from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who was a fan of Kanter's while he was with the Portland Trail Blazers last season.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey then tweeted his own endorsement of Kanter, welcoming the new Celtics big man to Boston "with open arms."

Kanter clearly appreciated the love, thanking Markey in a tweet for "upholding American values and standing up for Democracy and Human Rights."

Kanter has repeatedly criticized the Turkish government as an NBA player -- he called Erdogan "the Hitler of our century" in 2017 -- and has paid the price for doing so. Turkey put out an extradition request for the 27-year-old in January claiming he was suspected of being part of a terrorist organization and revoked his passport back in 2017.

But it appears the veteran big man will have the freedom to speak his mind in Boston, where his teammates and the local leadership are behind him.

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Kemba Walker rated 17th overall in NBA 2K20, trails 11th-ranked Kyrie Irving

Kemba Walker rated 17th overall in NBA 2K20, trails 11th-ranked Kyrie Irving

Kemba Walker is likely going to be compared to Kyrie Irving during his tenure with the Boston Celtics. Walker will be replacing the mercurial point guard who left the Celtics for greener pastures to team up with Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets in free agency this offseason. And while Boston fans may not exactly be sad to see Irving go, there's no denying that Irving is a talented player.

In fact, Irving is so talented that he almost cracked the top 10 in this year's "NBA 2K20" ratings. The popular video game recently released some of the ratings ahead of the game's launch, and Irving placed 11th overall in the league with a 91 overall rating.

Meanwhile, Walker isn't far behind Irving, as he ranks 17th in overall rating for the game's initial release. He is the Celtics' highest-rated player with a mark of 88 overall.

This isn't much of a surprise, as the league has seemingly viewed Irving as the superior player to Walker throughout their respective careers. And their stat lines from last year would seemingly indicate that as well.

In 2018-19, 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.9 assists last season while shooting 48.7 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Walker scored more points per game (25.6) but had worse rebound (4.4) and assist (5.9) numbers and shot just 43.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range. So, that's likely why Irving was given a slight advantage in the video game.

Of course, NBA 2K ratings don't take chemistry into account with their overall player ratings, and that seems to be an area that most would give Walker the advantage in. And playing with a better supporting cast could also improve Walker's numbers and demonstrate that he is truly on par with Irving as a player.

But either way, Celtics fans won't care much about which player has the higher 2K rating, especially if Walker can help iron out some of the issues that percolated last season in the Celtics' locker room.

Walker will be holding his introductory Celtics press conference this Wednesday, July 17 at 1:00 p.m. ET. The press conference can be seen on NBC Sports Boston or streamed via the MyTeams App.

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