Ex-Celtics Star, Who Rallied Against LeBron James, Calls Out Brittney Griner “Bad Trade”

Published 12/11/2022, 12:50 PM EST

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Former Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter Freedom has been heavily critical of LeBron James in the past. In fact, Freedom has called out James’ stance on several socio-political issues, including China and the detention of WNBA star Brittney Griner. With that said, recently, the hooper voiced his opinions about the Brittney Griner case, calling the prisoner swap deal that facilitated her deal a ‘bad trade.’

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Earlier in the week, the world of basketball and WNBA Star Brittney Griner’s family had won their year-long battle of fighting to bring Griner home from Russia. President Joe Biden’s administration announced that Russian Authorities had agreed to a prisoner swap deal.

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According to the deal, Russia would get arms dealer Viktor Bout for releasing the eight-time WNBA All-Star. Almost 11 months later, as Griner landed on US soil, fans and supporters rejoiced across the country. However, former Boston Celtics star Enes Kanter Freedom offered a different perspective on the situation.

Enes Kanter Freedom on the return of Brittney Griner

In an interview with Fox News, Enes Kanter Freedom called the Brittney Griner exchange to be a bad one. Freedom further stated that Viktor Bout is not a simple arms dealer, but a terrorist. Freedom explained that Bout ruined lives all across the world and sold weapons that have resulted in the disruption of many lives.

While declaring him to be the most notorious arms dealer, Freedom urged President Biden to realize the mistake he had committed. He continued to call the exchange to be unfair. “We just traded a basketball player for Viktor Bout, who people call the ‘Merchant of Death,'” Kanter said. “We just sent back pretty much a terrorist who is responsible for thousands of lives and sold illegal weapons in Africa, in Asia, and everybody knows he is one of Russia’s most notorious arms dealers.”

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Freedom further added, “I would not exactly call it a fair trade. We should not give back a terrorist who could actually hurt America in the long run.” 

He also mentioned that another American citizen, Paul Whelan, is still being detained by Russian Authorities. Freedom claimed that, unlike Brittney Griner, Whelan was detained while he was trying to “protect” his country.

An update on Brittney Griner

On Friday, President Biden tweeted that Brittney Griner was safely on her way to the US. This called for celebration across the WNBA and NBA.

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Following this, it was reported that Griner would go through several medical examinations and get all the necessary help to settle back in. The reports also stated that Griner was “in good spirits” after meeting and talking to her family.

However, the duration of her recovery period or how long she will be under medical assistance hasn’t been mentioned. With that said, Griner’s family expressed their gratitude via posts online.

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What did you think about Enes Kanter Freedom’s stance? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Shriya Rajachandra

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Shriya Rajachandra is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. She earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism, Psychology, and Communicative English. Shriya previously interned at The New Indian Express, but her favorite journalist, Marcus Thompson motivated her to start writing about basketball.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder

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