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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Kendrick Perkins explains how Kobe Bryant's passing made him squash beef with Kevin Durant

Kendrick Perkins explains how Kobe Bryant's passing made him squash beef with Kevin Durant

The NBA was dealt a massive blow on Sunday afternoon when Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash.

The shocking death of the 41-year-old NBA legend prompted an outpouring of emotion from a number of Boston-based athletes. But perhaps one of the most touching ones came from former Boston Celtics center Kendrick Perkins.

Perkins reached out to Kevin Durant on Twitter and sent him a message of love in hopes of ending a Twitter beef that had taken place between the two in recent weeks. Here's a look at his Twitter message to Durant.

In an exclusive phone interview with NBC Sports Boston, Perkins opened up about exactly why Kobe's death prompted him to send that message to Durant.

"I'm not about to let that go another day down the drain behind a B.S. Twitter beef that's not called for," Perkins said to NBC Sports Boston's Gary Tanguay. "And our brotherhood, our friendship is more valuable."

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Perkins also hoped his message to Durant would inspire others to bury the hatchet with anyone they were having problems with but still loved.

"And I also wanted the world to see, hey, if you having problems with a loved one, a friend, a family member, whoever, hey. Life is too short. The next 60 seconds is not promised. Nip that in the bud and heal those wounds with those people that you love and get past it. That's what I wanted to do," Perkins said. "And I wanted to reach out to KD to let him know like, I love you bro. And I'm not afraid to let the world see that I love you."

Durant has yet to respond to Perkins, but the two former teammates -- and brothers, as Perkins noted -- will likely reconcile. And in a way, that's a beautiful way to tribute Bryant's untimely and tragic passing.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

Lakers-Clippers first non-weather NBA postponement since the Boston Marathon bombings

Lakers-Clippers first non-weather NBA postponement since the Boston Marathon bombings

In the aftermath of the death of Kobe Bryant, the NBA has made the decision to postpone the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers game that had been scheduled for Tuesday night.

The league stated in an official press release that the decision was made "out of respect" for the Lakers as they "deeply grieve" the loss of Bryant and his daughter, Gianna.

Postponing the game is absolutely a sensible decision, but it is rare for the league to do so. As ESPN's Ramona Shelburne pointed out on Twitter, this is the first time that an NBA game had been cancelled or postponed under such circumstances since the Boston Marathon Bombings of 2013.

The NBA has also postponed or cancelled games in the past due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Columbine High School massacre, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. But it's not a common occurrance fpr games to be cancelled for non-weather-related reasons, so this is notable.

Because it was so late in the season, the Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers game was cancelled altogether, as it had no bearing on the final standings in the Eastern Conference.

But the Lakers-Clippers game will be made up at a later date. And surely, the battle for L.A. will contain some tribute to Bryant as they celebrate the life of one of the NBA's greatest.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.