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The NBA media has no time to ask LeBron James about China.
They did, however, have time to ask James about Enes Kanter after the Lakers’ 130-108 loss to the Celtics on Friday night. Kanter, the Celtics’ center, has been outspoken of James and the NBA for their dealings with China. As OutKick’s Joe Kinsey relayed on Thursday, Kanter took to Twitter to take shots at “The King.” Kanter had special shoes made to mock James for bowing down to China.
Kanter wore the shoes against James and the Lakers, as seen on ESPN and pointed out by OutKick’s Clay Travis.
After the game, James said he would not be giving any energy towards Kanter.
LeBron on Enes Kanter: "He's trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself…As a man, if you've got an issue with somebody, you come up to him. He had his opportunity tonight. I seen him in the hallway & he walked right by me.pic.twitter.com/KYDh5o6AMA— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 20, 2021
“I don’t give too many people my energy,” James said. “He’s definitely not someone I would give my energy to. He’s trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself. I definitely won’t comment too much on that. … He’s always had a word or two to say in my direction, and as a man, if you’ve got an issue with somebody, you really come up to him. He had his opportunity tonight. I saw him in the hallway, and he walked right by me.”
Kanter has been wearing many different shoes this season with varying messages. Kanter is advocating for human rights in China, as citizens of Tibet, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang seek sovereignty from the Chinese. Meanwhile, China is forcing labor in slave camps, which Kanter has called out on many occasions.
Per the U.S. Department of State, authorities use threats of physical violence, forcible drug intake, physical and sexual abuse and torture. In 2019, then Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted a photo that read, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.” Morey deleted the tweet, was denounced by Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, and ordered to apologize. James responded to Morey’s tweet shortly after.
“I believe he was misinformed or not really educated on the situation,” James said.
James’ response to Morey was written on Kanter’s shoes he wore on Friday night. He altered it slightly, with it now saying, “I am informed and educated on the situation.”