The land of the free just gained a new citizen. His name is Freedom.

More specifically, his name is Enes Kanter Freedom. The Boston Celtics center changed his last name and was sworn in as an American citizen on Nov. 29. His old country, Turkey, attempted to kidnap him in Indonesia and canceled his passport when he fled to Romania because he dared to criticize dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, in his words, he’s part of the “greatest nation in the world.”

The name change may seem a little silly, but if anyone has earned the benefit of the doubt here, it’s the man now known as Freedom. He is a welcome addition to the grand American experiment: an athlete who speaks out about justice and human rights without falling into the popular left-wing hatred of the United States.

Unfortunately, Freedom hasn’t been a welcome addition to the Celtics. While some wonder if his condemnations of the Chinese Communist Party are convincing his team to keep him on the bench, Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka said that it was Freedom’s defensive deficiencies, not his comments about China, that saw him sitting on the bench.

Indeed, the Celtics are one of the top defensive teams in the league, and Freedom has always been a bit of a defensive liability. But Freedom was one of the most efficient scorers, and the most efficient rebounder, on the team through the first quarter of the season. The Celtics are a middling team with a middling offense. Perhaps a spark is needed.

Freedom could provide it. He played substantial minutes for the Portland Trail Blazers in their playoff season last year, averaging a double-double. But even if the Celtics aren’t happy to have him, the country should be. So, welcome to the team, Enes. Even if you don’t suit up much in Celtics green, we are happy to have you representing the red, white, and blue.