It’s been three months since Turkey canceled the passport of Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter. But the story is not over yet. The Thunder will play the Brooklyn Nets in Mexico City on Dec. 7. Kanter’s status for that game remains uncertain. Without a valid passport, he is unable to travel to another country other than Canada, which allows entry from U.S. residents who have a Green Card. There is no such agreement with Mexico.
Kanter could receive a re-entry permit, a special document issued to citizens of other countries whose passports have been canceled for reasons the U.S. government deems unsuitable. The permit would allow Kanter to leave the U.S. for another country, such as Mexico, and still return. And the plan is for Kanter to acquire one before OKC’s game in Mexico City. Still, he is yet to receive a re-entry permit, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. There is, however, still ample time for that process to complete.
The Brooklyn Nets will play two regular-season games in Mexico City this season, the NBA announced Wednesday. They will play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9 at Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The games will be broadcast live on ESPN. “These games will be our 25th and 26th in Mexico, the most played in any country outside of the United States and Canada,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “They will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America.”
With the NBA schedule starting to leak out piecemeal, a columnist for Mexico City’s El Universal reports the Nets will play the Thunder and Heat on Thursday, December 7, and Saturday, December 9, in the Mexican capital. Paulina Benavente tweeted out the report, complete with what looks like an official NBA graphic, on Tuesday.