When he does, the new Celtics center is thinking about “adding (an) ‘American name,’” as he told TMZ Sports. Kanter hasn’t decided which direction he wants to go in yet, so he’s taking suggestions on Twitter. (What could go wrong?)
Kanter, 27, was born in Switzerland and is a native of Turkey, but the veteran center is unable to return to his home country. He has been labeled a terrorist by the Turkish government due to his criticism of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he called the "Hitler of our generation."
In fact, Kanter cannot really leave the U.S. because of that label.
Last season, while playing for the New York Knicks, the center had to stay behind when the team traveled to London for a game because he feared there could be an assassination attempt on his life while Turkey sought a warrant for his arrest.
In 2017, Kanter was detained in a Roman airport after his passport had been canceled, which he believes was the doing of the Turkish government. His family has also been caught in the crosshairs, too. Kanter's father, Mehmet Kanter was sentenced to 15 years in prison last year.
Of course, Kanter could expedite his citizenship, under one condition: He would have to marry a U.S. citizen. Kanter has joked that he has received marriage proposals on social media in the past in order for him to obtain his green card.
For now, Kanter will go through the proper protocols and continue to mull a name change.
Really hoping he goes with some name that’s borderline-extinct, like Elmer or Orville.