Enes Kanter Freedom Torches NBA Superstar LeBron James Over Controversial Brittney Griner Comments

by Nick Geddes

NBA free agent center Enes Kanter Freedom has a simple message for Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James: if you don’t like it, leave.

Leave, as in the U.S., after James’ controversial comments regarding WNBA star Brittney Griner went viral Tuesday. On the most recent trailer of HBO’s “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” James said that Griner, who has been in Russian detention since February, should be questioning if she wants to return to America.

“Now, how can she feel like America has her back?” LeBron James said. “I would be feeling like, ‘Do I even wanna go back to America?’”

James would later walk back on his comments through a Twitter post, saying he “wasn’t knocking our beautiful country.” Kanter Freedom, however, wasn’t buying it.

“You call it a step back, we call this a walk back,” Enes Kanter Freedom responded. “You are free to leave buddy or you can even volunteer for an exchange for her. Some people literally have NO idea what is it like to live in a dictatorship. Keep taking your freedom for granted.”

This isn’t the First Time Enes Kanter Freedom has Called out LeBron James

Tuesday was far from the first public interaction between the two, as Kanter Freedom has been outspoken against James and the NBA for their relationships with China amid the country’s human rights violations. Back in November, when Kanter Freedom was playing for the Boston Celtics, he took to the court against James and the Lakers in shoes that read ““Hey King Still Researching And Getting Educated?”

After the game, James said that Kanter Freedom was using his name to “create an opportunity for himself.”

“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.”

Griner, meanwhile, remains detained for being in possession of vape cartridges containing hashish oil at a Russian airport. She pleaded guilty to the charges last Thursday. She pleaded guilty just four days after Russian authorities extended her detention to at least December. Griner is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison for the offense.