);
New York Knicks

New York Knicks' centre Enes Kanter to skip London trip fearing for his life because of Turkish President

enes-kanter-ftr.jpg
Enes Kanter [NBA Getty Images]

The New York Knicks will be without centre Enes Kanter for their upcoming trip to London against the Washington Wizards on January 17.

Following the Knicks' 117-112 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, Kanter spoke on the topic to the media.

"Sadly, I'm not going because of that freaking lunatic, the Turkish president," Kanter stated. "It's pretty sad that all the stuff affects my career and basketball, because I want to be out there and help my team win. But just because of the one lunatic guy, one maniac, one dictator, I can't even go out there and do my job. It's pretty sad."

Kanter is referencing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who put out an international warrant for Kanter's arrest back in 2017 after Kanter spoke negatively on the President's behalf. Kanter has also received death threats for his Turkish political stance.

"They've got a lot of spies there," Kanter continued. "I think I can get killed there easy. It would be a very ugly situation."

New York's big man plans to stay behind and practice during his team's trip. He also confirmed the only country he can travel to is Canada because his passport was revoked by the Turkish government.

The Knicks will have to look elsewhere to make up for Kanter's 14.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He has 23 double-doubles in 39 games this season, one shy of cracking the top-10 in the NBA.

More from NBA.com

tacko-fall-ftr.jpg
Will Tacko Fall make the Celtics roster?
Kyle Irving
tristan-thompson-060218-ftr
Report: Thompson will not play for Canada at FIBA World Cup
Kyle Irving
fred-vanvleet-nick-nurse
Nurse talks Raptors upcoming season without Kawhi
Gilbert McGregor
#Lowry
Report: Lowry undergoes procedure on left thumb
Gilbert McGregor
derozan-kawhi-081819-ftr-getty.jpg
How will you remember Kawhi-DeMar trade?
NBA.com Staff
NBA - Summer Workout Plan
How Pascal Siakam can become a superstar
Scott Rafferty
More News