Celtics

Evan Turner shuts down Nick Wright over questionable Enes Kanter take

Evan Turner shuts down Nick Wright over questionable Enes Kanter take

Enes Kanter has been somewhat of a lightning rod during his NBA career, but he has a staunch supporter in Evan Turner.

As Kanter revealed Wednesday, Turner -- his teammate on the Portland Trail Blazers for the second half of last season -- helped sell the big man on the Boston Celtics in free agency.

C's president of basketball operations Danny Ainge took some heat for suggesting Kanter and Kemba Walker were his "Plan A" in free agency, and FS1's Nick Wright piled on Thursday, suggesting Kanter is "not part of anyone's Plan A."

That's when Turner chimed in to defend his ex-teammate.

We should point out Kanter has a history with Wright. Shortly after agreeing to his two-year, $10 million deal in Boston, the 27-year-old big man mocked Wright's new haircut after the "First Things First" analyst called his and Walker's signings a "disaster."

The two have kept their Twitter feud alive since then, so Wright may have extra motivation to take digs at Kanter on-air.

As for Wright's actual argument, defense has been a weak point in Kanter's NBA game. But the 6-foot-11 forward is a productive scorer (13.7 points per game last season) and effective rebounder on both ends (6.0 defensive rebounds, 3.8 offensive rebounds), so if he can improve defensively, he could be a nice pickup for the C's.

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2019 FIBA World Cup live stream: How to watch Team USA vs. Australia exhibition

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USA TODAY Sports photo

2019 FIBA World Cup live stream: How to watch Team USA vs. Australia exhibition

After drawing the largest crowd for a basketball game ever in Australia on Thursday (51,218), Team USA and Australia return to Marvel Stadium late tonight (2 p.m. Saturday in Melbourne) to play another tuneup for the FIBA World Cup.

A trio of Celtics - part of "Team Shamrock" for the US - all played key roles in helping the US defeat the Aussies 102-86. Kemba Walker scored a game-high 23 points, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each scored 11. The fourth Celtic on Team USA, Marcus Smart, who hasn't played because of a calf injury, didn't play in that game but has been cleared to return and could be back tonight.

Team Australia includes a former Celtic, Aron Baynes.

The Americans have one more tuneup in Australia, Monday against Team Canada, before the FIBA World Cup opens in China against the Czech Republic on Sept. 1. 

Here's how to watch tonight's game:

When: Saturday, Aug. 24, midnight
TV Channel: NBA TV
Live Stream: Twitch and NBA.com

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Enes Kanter considering 'American name' when he becomes U.S. citizen

Enes Kanter considering 'American name' when he becomes U.S. citizen

Enes Kanter has big plans for the next couple of years that extend far beyond basketball.

The new Boston Celtics big man recently told TMZ Sports he plans on becoming a United States citizen two years from now. Kanter has been vocal about human rights issues in his home country of Turkey, to the point where Turkish prosecutors are seeking the arrest of the 27-year-old for his criticism of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter's citizenship may not be the only major change he makes in two years. He says he's also considering a switch to an "American name."

"I'm actually becoming a U.S. citizen in two years," Kanter told TMZ. "I'm actually thinking about adding an American name. I'm still thinking about it. I don't know yet."

Watch below:

But what names are under consideration? That's the next question that needs to be posed to the 6-foot-11 forward.

Kanter, who signed a two-year deal worth $10 million this offseason, will be counted on to play a sizable role for the Celtics. He and fellow newcomer Kemba Walker are expected to help replenish the team chemistry that was missing throughout the 2018-19 campaign.

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