By Ariel Scotti / May 14, 2019

NBA Western Conference Finals Won’t Air in Turkey Because of Enes Kanter

Kanter has been a public critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Enes Kanter
Turkey won't air the Western Conference Finals because they include Enes Kanter. (Matthew Stockman/ Getty)

As part of the ongoing saga between Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter and the Turkish government, the entire country of Turkey will be blacked out from watching the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Turkish broadcaster S Sport will not televise the series between the Blazers and the Golden State Warriors, ESPN reported, since Kanter — a native of Turkey — has been publicly critical of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In 2017, the nation cancelled Kanter’s passport and has tried to issue an arrest warrant for him.

“I can say clearly that we will not be broadcasting the Warriors-Blazers series,” S Sport commentator Omer Sarac said. “Furthermore, if Portland makes it to the finals, [that] will not be broadcast either. … This situation is not about us, but it is what it is.”

The NBA had to terminate its relationship with a local company that ran the country’s league-affiliated Twitter account earlier this month for refusing to even mention Kanter in its reporting of Portland’s Game 2 win over Denver in the Western Conference semifinals.

Since then, NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum said that “Fans in Turkey can watch all playoff games featuring Enes Kanter and the Portland Trail Blazers on NBA League Pass and NBA TV International.”

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