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Enes Kanter Legally Changing Name To 'Enes Kanter Freedom'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Enes Kanter will become a U.S. citizen on Monday. When he does, the Celtics big man will have a new legal name.

Kanter is legally changing his name to "Enes Kanter Freedom," according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Kanter will now be his middle name, with Freedom becoming his new last name.

The 11-year NBA vet has been outspoken about social injustice and government corruption throughout his career, and has recently taken aim at China, Nike and LeBron James. Early in the season, Kanter spoke out against Chinese leader Xi Jinping, whom he called a "brutal dictator" for his policies regarding Tibet. Celtics games are no longer streaming in China because of Kanter's comments.

Kanter also spoke out against James ahead of Boston's game against the Lakers last week, ripping the NBA superstar for his relationship with Nike -- and his silence on the company's use of slave labor in China. Kanter has been putting messages on his sneakers for the majority of Boston's games this season.

Enes Kanter Sneakers Free Tibet
A look at the shoes worn by Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics with the wording "Free Tibet" during Boston's opener against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Enes Kanter Sneakers
Sneakers worn by Celtics center Enes Kanter for a game against the Washington Wizards. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
Enes Kanter Sneaker
Sneakers worn by Celtics center Enes Kanter during a game against the Miami Heat. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

In 2017, Kanter's passport in his native Turkey was canceled after he was outspoken against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kanter has played sparingly this season in his second stint with the Celtics The 29-year-old has seen action in just nine games, averaging 4.2 points and 5.2 rebounds over 11.2 minutes per contest.

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