Celtics’ Enes Kanter blasts Nets owner Joe Tsai: ‘Spineless’

BOSTON — The Nets fully expected to hear it from the TD Garden fans. They probably had no idea the most vicious verbal attacks would come from a Boston player.

Celtics center Enes Kanter — who has been vocal in his disapproval of the Chinese government’s polices — unloaded on Nets owner Joe Tsai Wednesday on social media.

“The owner of @brooklynNets @joetsai1999 is a coward & puppet of the Chinese gov’t,” Kanter tweeted. “Being anti-CCP does NOT mean being anti-Asian. It’s possible to #StopAsianHate & to stand up against the CCP.

“Human rights are not “western” values, they are UNIVERSAL values!

“Spineless Joe Tsai.”

It was about as nasty an attack as a league owner has ever gotten from a player, and that includes the Clippers fiasco with racist Donald Sterling.

Outspoken Celtics center Enes Kanter had some choice words for Nets owner Joe Tsai.
Getty Images; Corey Sipkin

Kanter clearly is intimating that Tsai — the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba — has enabled China. Tsai, who lives part-time in Hong Kong, caught heat for calling the Hong Kong protesters “separatist” two years ago.

An email seeking a response from Tsai’s camp was not immediately returned.

The Nets are not only enjoying having a Thanksgiving off after returning from a road trip, but can also be thankful for some health to boot.

Kevin Durant has played back-to-back games following his shoulder injury and come out none the worse for wear. And while Bruce Brown missed both games at Cleveland and Boston with a tight left hamstring, it sounds like he could be back for Saturday’s home clash with the white-hot Suns.

“I’m very hopeful he will be back,” coach Steve Nash said. “He wants to play. We think long term it’s best that he doesn’t risk it [against the Celtics].”

The Nets are 11-3 this season when Brown starts, making them an impressive 40-11 when he’s in the lineup (21-4 at home) since last season.

Joe Harris missed a fifth straight game Wednesday with a left ankle sprain, and Nash said he didn’t expect him back versus Phoenix.

The sharpshooting wing is fifth in the league in 3-point percentage (.466), and is 25 of 42 (.595) from deep in his last eight games played.

Kyrie Irving (not with the team), Nic Claxton (non-COVID illness) and David Duke Jr. (left hip flexor tendinopathy) were all out.

Nets co-owner Clara Wu Tsai had a sit-down interview with YES Network that will be aired in two parts. In Wednesday’s pregame show she discussed her relationship with Irving, the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation (including its Social Justice Fund) and the new “You Belong Here/We Belong Here” neon installation at Barclays Center.

The second part of the interview airs in the pregame show for Saturday’s game.