The NBA’s Western Conference Finals will not be shown on Turkish television due to the presence of Turkish star Enes Kanter’s Portland Trail Blazers, who has been an outspoken critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
S Sport, which broadcasts the NBA in Turkey, has confirmed it will not show any Portland games for the remainder of the NBA post-season, according to Reuters. Portland are playing the Golden State Warriors in the seven-match Western Conference Finals.
“I can say clearly that we will not be broadcasting the Warriors-Blazers series,” S Sport commentator Omer Sarac told Reuters. “Furthermore, if Portland makes it to the finals, (that) will not be broadcast either…This situation is not about us, but it is what it is.”
The Western Conference Finals is now only available in Turkey through NBA TV’s cable and online outlets. S Sport will, however, broadcast the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
The NBA has been regularly televised in Turkey since the 1990s.
Kanter has described himself as a close ally of a US-based cleric, Fethullah Gülen, whom Erdoğan’s government blames for the failed June 2016 coup in Turkey.