S Sport, the main broadcaster of NBA games in Turkey, has officially announced that they will not be airing the Western Conference Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers because of a long-standing feud between the Turkish government and Enes Kanter:
“I can say clearly that we will not be broadcasting the Warriors-Blazers series,” S Sport commentator Omer Sarac told Reuters. “Furthermore, if Portland makes it to the finals, (that) will not be broadcast either,” he said.
Kanter couldn’t help but express his disappointment on Instagram:
Should the Blazers advance to the Finals, S Sport won’t be airing those games either.
The broadcasting network has ignored NBA games involving Kanter since last season when he was accused by the Turkish government of being an affiliate of a terrorist group. Kanter has repeatedly denied these allegations.
Enes Kanter has been a critic of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who he claims is an abusive leader who has done bad things to his family and friends in the past. The eight-year veteran hasn’t been able to see the people close to him in Turkey because he fears for his life.
The Blazers big man is having an impressive run in Portland since being acquired a couple of months ago. He’s averaging 12.7 points and 11.0 rebounds in the playoffs.
NBA fans in Turkey can still watch the Warriors-Blazers series through online streaming websites and paid cable services. Golden State leads the series 1-0 after a blowout victory in Game 1 on Tuesday night.
S Sport will be airing the Eastern Conference Conference between the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors.