2021 Man of the Year: Enes Kanter Freedom

Enes Freedom / Getty Images
• December 24, 2021 1:00 pm


The date is November 19, year 2021. The Los Angeles Lakers are headed to Beantown to play the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden. The biggest star on the court is almost guaranteed to be four-time league MVP LeBron James, or maybe one of his all-star teammates. Certainly not the pair of shoes worn by a bench player on the Celtics.

Enter Enes Kanter. The towering Turkish national stepped on the court wearing a pair of kicks featuring the aforementioned balding superstar LeBron James bowing at the feet of China's Xi Jinping. Kanter used the shoes to accuse the self-proclaimed "King" of putting "money over morals," pointing to his refusal to speak out against Chinese slavery and genocide.

Kanter then stepped off the bench and managed to change the whole game, which the Celtics won 130-108. Peep the stats: With just 16 minutes of playing time, Kanter snagged seven rebounds and didn't miss a three pointer—LeBron only grabbed six boards in 32 minutes and bricked four shots from long distance. Most importantly, Kanter's Celtics outscored the Lakers by a whopping 21 with Kanter on the court. LeBron was a minus-4. Sad!

As if humiliating LeBron with his shoes and on the court wasn't enough, Kanter just 11 days later became a U.S. citizen. To mark the occasion, he formally changed his name to Freedom.

"People should feel really blessed to be in America," Freedom told Tucker Carlson after becoming a citizen. "They love to criticize it but when you live in a country like Turkey or China, you appreciate the freedoms you have here."

"I feel like they should just keep their mouth shut and stop criticizing the greatest nation in the world and they should focus on their freedoms and their human rights and democracy."

Well said, Mr. Freedom, well said.

The haters have tried to rain on Freedom's parade. The Chinese have banned Celtics games from airing on TVs in the commie country. LeBron accused Freedom of using his name in an attempt to get famous. But Freedom doesn't care—he's been dealing with haters for years. Hell, the monsters running the government in Turkey have had arrest warrants out against Freedom since at least 2017, and issued another nine this year.

Freedom's response: "I don't care if it's 9 or 9000, I'm NOT giving up."

Freedom has done more to support liberty around the globe in his less than a month as an American than LeBron has done in his whole life. Maybe it can be attributed to zeal of the convert.

America is blessed to have you, Mr. Freedom. We're proud to call you a fellow citizen and a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.

Published under: Man of the Year