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Former basketball star Yao Ming on Monday invited staunch Beijing critic Enes Kanter Freedom to visit China after the Boston Celtics player urged athletes to boycott the Winter Olympics in the capital. Kanter has emerged as one of China’s most vocal critics in the sporting world, a rare athlete willing to forgo lucrative endorsements to speak on issues such as Beijing’s treatment of its Uyghur Muslim and Tibetan minorities.
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Yao, China’s most famous basketball star and one of its Olympic bid ambassadors, was asked about Kanter’s politics at a press gathering in Beijing on Monday. “I’ve heard of him, but I can’t really judge him because I don’t know him,” the retired Houston Rockets player and current president of the China Basketball Association said. “If there is an opportunity, I would like to invite him to visit China… Then he may have a more comprehensive understanding of us.”
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Beyond that? It appears Boston is open for business as they investigate potential tweaks to the roster. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com detailed some of the various players that Boston is gauging the trade value on in the marketplace in an appearance on NBA Today. “Marcus Smart, some of the young players on the roster, the second or third year guards and forwards, I think they are seeing what the value for those players is out there, Josh Richardson, Dennis Schroder. I think those are all players available in the marketplace,” Wojnarowski said. “They still want to find another playmaker, wing player to complement the two All-Star forwards.”