Free-agent basketball player and newfound right-wing “free speech” martyr Enes Kanter Freedom begged edgelord billionaire Elon Musk to buy the NBA on Thursday, calling it “my dream” as Musk could potentially force a franchise to bring him back to the league.
Freedom has become a cause célèbre on the right in recent months over his pointed criticism of the NBA for its relationship with China and other authoritarian regimes. That fame only grew among conservatives after the Houston Rockets waived the 29-year-old center in February following a deadline trade deal with the Boston Celtics, prompting Freedom and others to claim he was “canceled” for his outspokenness and for being invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
While Freedom’s NBA unemployment likely has more to do with his rapidly diminishing basketball skills than the “woke” league trying to silence him, it hasn’t stopped both him and conservative media from peddling a “cancel culture” narrative about his lack of play. But now it appears he’s found a potential savior in the right’s newest hero.
During a Thursday afternoon appearance on Fox News, Freedom was ostensibly on to talk about the NBA’s hypocrisy as it relates to doing business with the United Arab Emirates. Specifically, the league has faced criticism for agreeing to stage games in the UAE, where homosexuality is punishable by death. (A few years ago, the NBA pulled its All-Star Game out of Charlotte over North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law.)
Eventually, though, Fox News co-anchor Gillian Turner asked Freedom whether he felt he had a place in the NBA in the future or if that door was closed.
“That’s my goal,” he replied. “I’m 29 years old, but they are pushing me to retire at the age of 29 because I speak out, and whenever I speak out it hurts their business, hurts their money and that shows one more time they care more about money and business than, you know, what players are standing for, and that is the one thing that kills me inside.”
He continued to assert that he is no longer in the league because his criticism forced the NBA to stop playing games in China, causing executives to lose revenue. “I just wish one player can join me so we can stop this whole thing,” Freedom added.
Referencing a tweet Freedom posted shortly after the announcement that Musk was purchasing Twitter, Turner then asked her guest: “Do you still want Elon Musk to buy the NBA?”
Freedom not only answered in the affirmative but also heaped praise upon the Tesla founder, who has been worshipped on the right lately for vowing to reverse former President Donald Trump's Twitter ban while making conservative-approved changes to the platform.
“That would be my dream, you know,” he exclaimed “I think, you know, what he’s doing for free speech is amazing, and I think, you know, he can bring some justice to the NBA and finally maybe I can get to play basketball.”
Co-anchor John Roberts, meanwhile, pondered that the richest man in the world could potentially own every single team in the league.
“Hmmm. Thirty franchises, $2.8 billion apiece, maybe he could buy them,” Roberts concluded.
Speaking of hypocrisy, Freedom's over-the-top praise of Musk comes just a day after the mega-billionaire lauded Chinese workers for “burning the 3 a.m. oil” while saying Americans “avoid going to work”—seemingly endorsing the nation’s sweatshop-like conditions employees at Tesla’s Shanghai factory are forced to endure.
Additionally, Musk has long had close ties to the Chinese Communist Party, saying “I love China” and describing the country as “the future,” all while the Chinese premier offered Musk permanent residency in the nation.