According to Stadium’s Shams Charania, Kanter will change his name to “Enes Kanter Freedom.” That means Kanter will become his middle name and Freedom his new last name.
Kanter, 29, retweeted Charania’s tweet on Sunday morning, essentially confirming the report to be true.
Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter is legally changing his name to Enes Kanter Freedom, @TheAthletic @Stadium learned. Kanter will be his middle name, Freedom is his new last name. He becomes a U.S. citizen on Monday.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 28, 2021
Kanter Freedom’s new name is reminiscent of when Ron Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace in 2011. The former NBA Defensive Player of the Year and 2010 champion now goes by Metta Sandiford-Artest.
The name change is quite the switch-up for Kanter, but isn’t an entirely surprising one for him to make. The NBA big man has been extremely outspoken about a number of issues pertaining to freedom in recent years.
Just earlier this month, Kanter took to social media and referred to People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping as a “brutal dictator.” China responded by pulling Boston Celtics games off of the country’s internet.
Kanter also recently called out Nike and LeBron James for not speaking about against injustices committed by the Chinese government. He previously petitioned the International Olympic Committee to move the upcoming Winter Games before calling upon other countries to boycott the event.
“Shame on organizations like the International Olympic Committee that’s setting up an Olympic Games this upcoming winter in China where there’s a dictatorship happening right now. […] We need to boycott the Winter Olympics,” Kanter said last week, per The Hill.
NBA player Enes Kanter: "Shame on organizations like the International Olympic Committee that's setting up an Olympic Games this upcoming winter in China where there's a dictatorship happening right now. […] We need to boycott the Winter Olympics." pic.twitter.com/WQjWp7u6fV
— The Hill (@thehill) November 23, 2021
Kanter, who re-signed with the Celtics for the second time in his career this offseason, has had a much quieter year on the court. The former No. 3 overall pick has played in nine games for Boston, averaging 4.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 11 minutes per contest.
Kanter Freedom may not be as much of a force on the basketball court, but he’s shown that he’s willing to use his platform to speak out about issues that are important to him. That will surely continue under his new name and as an official citizen of the United States.