Enes Kanter rips LeBron James over China ahead of Celtics-Lakers meeting

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Celtics center Enes Kanter continues to be outspoken about the NBA’s ties to China, and now he’s taking aim directly at the league’s biggest superstar, LeBron James.

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In a tweet posted Thursday afternoon, Kanter ripped “The King” for putting “Money over Morals.” James has a $30 million-a-year deal with Nike, a company Kanter has previously accused of remaining silent on China’s human rights violations and profiting off forced labor in the country.

The “educate yourself” and “part of your research” comments also reference another topic Kanter has criticized James for: his refusal to be an advocate for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this season, Kanter’s public criticism of China and support of the #FreeTibet movement resulted in the Chinese government banning Celtics games from being broadcast in the country.

In recent weeks, Kanter has said that the NBA threatened to ban him over his China comments and has also hinted that the Celtics aren’t playing him because of it. Kanter has appeared in four games and played 31 minutes this season, but coach Ime Udoka says that has been strictly a basketball decision.

The timing of Kanter going after James directly is interesting, as the Celtics and Lakers are set to meet for the first time this season on Friday night at TD Garden. James, who has been dealing with an abdominal strain recently, reportedly has a “50-50” chance of playing.