Enes Kanter Freedom, blacklisted from the NBA for his outspoken comments on China’s treatment of minority populations, continued throwing shade at LeBron James after the veteran all-star broke Kareem Abdul-Jabar’s all-time scoring record.
James passed the former Laker great when he scored his 38,388th career NBA point in a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. He finished that game with 36 points.
Kanter Freedom has long been critical of James, who uses his platform to push anti-American messages revolving around supposed systemic injustices but then remains silent on issues from one of the NBA’s most lucrative fan bases in Asia.
The former NBA center began blasting LeBron on social media before joining House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the halls of Congress as the Republican’s State of the Union address and later appearing on Fox and Friends.
Tweeting after the decades’old record had been broken, Kanter Freedom highlighted a few other key figures in James’ career in a not-so-subtle dig.
1 Bow Down to #China
Congratulations to @KingJames
— Enes FREEDOM (@EnesFreedom) February 8, 2023
Speaking to the team at Fox and Friends later in the week, the Turkish-born, American citizen athlete again turned his attention to James.
“He’s one of the best players to ever play the game, but at the same time, if you see what he stands for, there are so many human rights violations that are happening around the world,” he explained. “He called himself more than an athlete. He called himself a human rights activist or freedom fighter. So I was just very disappointed in him, just, you know, choosing money and business over his morals, values and principles.”
Fox News wrote that “Kanter Freedom legally changed his last name upon becoming a U.S. citizen, and he has been vocal about the NBA’s relationship with China in the past.” In one famous instance, James criticized a former general manager for comments made about Hong Kong freedom fighters and called the man “misinformed.” James’ silence on continued oppression speaks volumes of his priorities.
At the same time he is silent on China, he has made ridiculous statements suggesting blacks are hunted down by police in America and even posted an image of a police officer who heroically saved the life of a young black woman – all because the officer had to shoot and kill another black woman who was assaulting the victim with a knife.
“[James] signed with a company like Nike that pretty much uses slave labor sweatshops over there in China,” Kanter Freedom continued on Fox and Friends. “He talks about all the problems that happened around the world. But when it comes to one specific topic, China, he stays silent, and that is hypocrisy.”
When asked about his participation at Joe Biden’s 2023 State of the Union address, Kanter Freedom wished he would have addressed more “human rights violations” instead of dividing this country further politically.
“I just wish that President Biden touched more on human rights violations around the world,” he said.
“It’s not a lie that China has been trying to spy on us for a long time. I mean, everybody’s talking about the spy balloon, but… pretty much with Tiktok, China is spying on over 100 million Americans every day,” he concluded.
As for James, and his politics aside, what he accomplished remains undoubtedly impressive. It hardly seemed like the record set by Jabar after his own illustrious career would ever be broken. NBA.com wrote:
But James, who also played multiple stints in Cleveland bracketing a stretch in Miami, has followed the same path as his fellow Lakers star with consistent, high-level excellence and historic longevity. With double-figure points in all but eight career games, and scoring averages of at least 25 points per game in all 19 seasons since his rookie campaign in 2003-04, James consistently chipped away at the standard Abdul-Jabbar initially set in 1984 and continued to build on until his retirement in 1989.
“Congratulations to LeBron on breaking one of the most hallowed records in all of sports by becoming the NBA’s all-time scoring leader,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “It’s a towering achievement that speaks to his sustained excellence over 20 seasons in the league. And quite amazingly, LeBron continues to play at an elite level and his basketball history is still being written.”
Featured image: Frenchieinportland, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons; Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Follow me on Twitter for the latest breaking news.
"*" indicates required fields