'Crazy and scary' incident following prayer at mosque for Celtics' Enes Kanter

'Crazy and scary' incident following prayer at mosque for Celtics' Enes Kanter

BOSTON -- Enes Kanter has not minced words when it comes to voicing his opposition to the Turkish government and their president Tayyip Erdoğan.

And judging by the arrest warrant the Turkish government has issued for him, a wild cross-country chase by the government for Kanter in 2017, which included Turkey canceling Kanter’s passport, the level of disdain between the two is mutual. 

But all those events occurred outside the United States, which makes the incident involving Kanter and two Turkish-speaking men after he left a local mosque after praying on Friday, “crazy and scary.”

Accompanied by teammate and fellow Muslim Tacko Fall, Kanter was approached and harassed at a mosque near the team’s practice facility on Friday. 

Kanter tweeted a video of the incident:

“It’s the first time [it] happened in America,” Kanter said. “It was definitely scary. I was looking at Tacko; I  said, ‘Tacko, don’t worry, I got you. We’re good. We’re fine.’ We were just waiting for our Uber. It was crazy and scary.”

Danny Ainge, the Celtics' president of basketball operations, said he was on an email chain with team security discussing the incident. 

On Saturday, Ainge said he had not had a chance to talk with Kanter directly about what happened. 

“But he has been talked to by our staff and our people,” Ainge said. “There will be more communication going on with that.”

Soon after the video detailing the event went viral, Kanter said he received calls from teammates, coaches as well as local and state officials who have closely monitored the goings-on between Kanter and his home country since he became a Celtic. 

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, who met with Kanter this past summer, expressed his outrage over the incident.

“It definitely means a lot to see a lot of support from the Boston people,” Kanter said. 

As far as his safety is concerned, Kanter said he feels safe, but acknowledged he has been in contact with the FBI and other law enforcement officials related to the incident. 

In addition to increased awareness on the part of law enforcement officials, Kanter anticipates having added security - possibly around-the-clock protection - in the near future. 

“I’m used to this,” Kanter said. “I’ve been getting threats like this the last six, seven years. I’m used to living this way. But in America, it shouldn’t be this way.”

And while Kanter has grown accustomed to dealing with such incidents internationally, he seemed particularly bothered by what happened Friday due to it happening here in the United States as well as with Celtics rookie Tacko Fall next to him. 

“It’s just sad,” Kanter said. “Next to me there was a rookie, Tacko, and he felt very uncomfortable.”

And while the incident occurred here in Boston, Kanter was emphatic in not drawing any connections between the Turkish-speaking men who approached him at the mosque, and Bostonians. 

“It’s not about Boston. It’s about Turkish people. I would never blame Boston or people in Boston,” Kanter said. “I blame the Turkish people and the Turkish government.”

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NBA trade targets: Notable players now eligible to be dealt before deadline

NBA trade targets: Notable players now eligible to be dealt before deadline

One of the most exciting aspects of each NBA season is the steady stream of rumors and speculation leading up to the trade deadline.

After an unprecedented number of star players found new homes in free agency over the summer, nearly all of those players are now eligible to be traded as of Sunday, Dec. 15. Now that nearly every player in the league can be dealt, the number of trade proposals and rumors discussed and debated should increase quite a bit leading up to the Feb. 6 deadline.

So, which players newly eligible to be dealt are among the most intriguing for title contenders?

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Tremont Waters, Carsen Edwards carry Red Claws in win over Drive

Tremont Waters, Carsen Edwards carry Red Claws in win over Drive

Tacko Fall, Carsen Edwards, Tremont Waters, and Romeo Langford all were in action for the Maine Red Claws again on Sunday vs. the Grand Rapids Drive.

Here's how all four C's rookies fared in Maine's 108-103 victory:


It was another quiet night for Fall, who contributed 6 points (2-for-5 shooting), 4 rebounds and 2 blocked shots in 21 minutes.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.


Edwards was one of the Red Claws' standout players in this one as the C's No. 33 overall pick had 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting (4-of-8 from 3). He also added 6 steals and 5 assists in his second game with Maine.


Langford played 19 minutes but didn't make much of an impact as he recorded 0 points (0-for-5 shooting) and turned the ball over four times. The Indiana product did, however, notch 2 blocks and 2 steals.


Waters starred alongside Edwards with 28 points (6-of-11), 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. The G League Player of the Month for November continues to thrive as Maine's most consistent player.

Also with standout performances were Kaiser Gates (21 points, 10 rebounds) and Yante Maten (8 points, 13 rebounds).

Next, the Red Claws will visit the Canton Charge on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Mavericks, which tips off Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.