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 before his Celtics fell to the Nets, 123-104. “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.
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.
With his first basket of the game, Kevin Durant (24,388 points) has moved past Allen Iverson (24,368 points) into 25th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
“It means the world,” Durant said. “I dedicated my life to this game at an early age, so I watched all these guys that I’m like passing up. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to be in the NBA like them, and make an impact in the league like them.
“So Iverson, he was the pantheon for me, one of those guys that I emulated every time I went outside and played with my friends. It’s all surreal. I pictured I would be in the league, and had an idea … but to do it is pretty special.”
Durant grew up in PG County (Md.), watching Iverson — who is from the Tidewater region of Virginia — star at Georgetown. That makes this extra special.
“Yeah, for sure. I really became a huge Iverson fan, obviously, just like everybody else his rookie year,” Durant said. “But seeing him at Georgetown and playing for Coach [John] Thompson and that whole culture that they built there, he was a huge part of that.
“I was a center, power forward on my young team, and we all were long-crossing and double-crossing. … So to pass him on the list and to be up there with some of the greats on that list is incredible. I’ve just got to keep going.”
Next up is Ray Allen (24,505).
Bruce Brown (hamstring) is trending toward returning Saturday against Phoenix.