Enes Kanter Freedom has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks, and very little has to do with his play on the court. Most recently, he changed his name, adding Freedom at the end to celebrate becoming an American citizen. On top of that, he has been very vocal in criticizing some of the biggest icons in the game.
Kanter called out LeBron James for staying quiet on the issue of China, even wearing shoes mocking his and Nike’s relationship with the country. On top of that, he called out Michael Jordan for not doing enough for the African-American community, as it would affect his shoe sales.
LeBron James responded by saying he wouldn’t give Kanter his energy. On top of that, he revealed that Kanter walked past him without saying a word when the Lakers were in Boston to play the Celtics. Footage from the game showed him walking away from James when LeBron walked onto the court for his shoot-around.
Kanter denied this claim and suggested that it was LeBron who was avoiding him. But a video from the Lakers’ most recent game against the Celtics suggests that Freedom was avoiding him. During the game, LeBron James was talking a lot to the Celtics bench, where Freedom was seated.
Presented with the opportunity to say something to James’ face, Freedom actually avoided eye contact and stayed quiet during the entire interaction, even adjusting his mask to further hide his face.
Perhaps Freedom felt that mid-game was not the right time to say anything to LeBron James. But given how vocal he has been in the media over James’ silence, it was his own silence that ironically spoke volumes about the issue and him targeting LeBron and Jordan in recent weeks.
It’s not unlikely that Kanter will respond to this footage from the game going viral, and explain why he didn’t say anything to LeBron James. But given that he has now visibly stayed quiet when James was in his presence, fans may not be quick to accept his explanation anymore.