Enes Kanter Freedom took a jab at LeBron James after the Lakers star surpassed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer on Wednesday.
The free-agent big man — who was waived by the Rockets in February 2022, a few days after the Celtics traded him to Houston — sent a stinging message to James on Twitter after the historic moment, the NY Post reports.
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“38,388 Points, 0 Morals, 0 Values, 0 Principles, 0 Empathy, 1 bow down to China” Freedom wrote on Twitter. “Congratulations to @KingJames.”
James has yet to publicly address Freedom’s tweet. The criticism, though, was not surprising as Freedom is a longtime critic of James.
The 11-year NBA veteran has disapproved of both the NBA’s and of James’ silence on human rights atrocities in China, and has spoken out against authoritarian regimes.
In November 2021, the Swiss-born, Turkish-raised centre became an American citizen and legally changed his last name to “Freedom” amid his human rights activism.
That same month, Freedom wore sneakers on the court trolling James with an illustration that depicted him bowing to China’s president, Xi Jinping, as he put a crown on James’ head.
Freedom condemned James’ business with Nike and accused the brand of telling a “total lie” about China’s alleged use of slave labour to produce its products. Nike has denied using slave labour.
“Money over Morals for the ‘King,’” Freedom tweeted in November 2021. “Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice.”
Freedom was also critical of James’ comments in 2019, when James criticised Daryl Morey’s support for Hong Kong.
At the time, James said Morey, who at the time was the Rockets’ GM and is now the 76ers’ president of basketball operations, was “misinformed” and “not educated” as Hong Kong citizens were protesting incursions on their freedom by the Chinese Communist Party.
James refused to offer his own thoughts about China’s political policies at the time, saying that he had to do more research on the issue.
Last January, Kanter told Fox News that a teammate of James had approached him and told him to keep applying pressure on James.
Kanter, a former first-round pick by the Jazz in the 2011 draft, had stints with the Thunder, Knicks, Trail Blazers and Celtics before Boston traded him to the Rockets in February 2022.
Four days later, Kanter was waived by Houston and later alleged that it was due to his views about the Chinese government.
In August, Freedom told The Post that he believed he is being blackballed by the NBA due to his outspoken criticism of the league’s relationship with China. At the time, he said he did not receive a single offer over the summer in free agency.
“I knew there was a price to pay. And I don’t regret my actions,” Freedom said. “These things are bigger than me, bigger than the NBA, and bigger than basketball. While I am playing in the USA, people are being killed all over the world or imprisoned or tortured in prisons. If this is the sacrifice I need to make, I am ready to live with it.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver denied that Freedom is being blackballed while speaking to the New York Times last March.
This article originally appeared on the NY Post and was reproduced with permission.
Story Credit: news.com.au