After LeBron James broke the record for all-time scoring in the NBA on Tuesday night, former NBA center Enes Kanter Freedom, who has blasted James for his political stances before, launched a blistering attack on James on social media.
James scored 38 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder; raising his career total to 38,390, surpassing the previous total of 38,387 held by six-time MVP and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
“38,388 Points 0 Morals 0 Values 0 Principles 0 Empathy 1 Bow Down to #China,” Kanter Freedom — who changed his last name to Freedom when he gained U.S. citizenship in 2021 — tweeted on Wednesday morning. “Congratulations to @KingJames.”
1 Bow Down to #China
Congratulations to @KingJames
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) February 8, 2023
“People get mad when I speak the truth because I’m the only athlete who actually speaks the truth,” Kanter Freedom added. “I don’t care about your endorsement deals or your dirty money. You can NOT buy me #CCP!”
People get mad when I speak the truth because I’m the only athlete who actually speaks the truth.
I don’t care about your endorsement deals or your dirty money.
You can NOT buy me #CCP!
Don’t expect me to respect you or your game when your shoes are literally made by SLAVE KIDS
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) February 8, 2023
Kanter Freedom, who originally hailed from Turkey, referred to James’ reticence to criticize China, which has been widely criticized for its brutal treatment of the Uyghur Muslims.
In 2019, then-Houston Rockers general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for protesters in Hong Kong, sharing a photo that read, “Fight for freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.”
Chinese Central Television (CCTV) suspended NBA broadcasts for over two years.
James chimed in after Morey’s actions, “Yes, we do have freedom of speech. But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.”
“So many people could have been harmed, not only financially but physically, emotionally, spiritually,” James continued. “So just be careful what we tweet and what we say and what we do, even though yes, we do have freedom of speech but there can be a lot of negative that comes with that.”
“I believe he was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation, and if he was, then so be it. I have no idea, but that’ s just my belief. Because when you say things or do things, if you are doing it and you know the people that can be affected by it and the families and individuals and everyone that can be affected by it, sometimes things can be changed as well. And also sometimes social media is not always the proper way to go about things as well, but that’s just my belief,” he concluded.
Freedom targeted James in October 2021 over his ties to China.
“Nike likes to say ‘Just Do It.’ Well, what are you doing about the slave labor that makes your shoes? That slave labor that makes you rich,” Kanter said in a video. “To the owner of Nike — Phil Knight — I have a message for you. How about I book plane tickets for us, let’s fly to China together. We can try to visit these slave labor camps and you can see with your own eyes. LeBron James and Michael Jordan, you guys are welcome to come too. Nike must be a participant in this. Stop the hypocrisy. Stop the modern-day slavery now.”
In November 2021, Kanter Freedom slammed James, tweeting, “Money over Morals for the ‘King’ Crown. Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice. They really do ‘shut up & dribble’ when Big Boss Flag of [China] says so. Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?”
Money over Morals for the “King” 👑
Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice
They really do “shut up & dribble” when Big Boss 🇨🇳 says so
Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research? pic.twitter.com/YUA8rGYeoZ
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) November 18, 2021
At the end of November 2021, Kanter Freedom stated, “I don’t know if he’s educated enough, but I’m here to educate him and I’m here to help him, because it’s not about money. It’s about morals, principles and values. It’s about what you stand for. There are way bigger things than money. If LeBron stopped making money now, his grandkids and grandkids and grandkids can have the best life ever.”
Related: Enes Kanter Rips LeBron James: Will ‘Shut Up And Dribble’ When ‘Big Boss’ China Says So