LeBron James has been called out by Enes Kanter Freedom a couple of times regarding his association with Nike and the People's Republic of China. In a recent interview, Freedom revealed that one of James' current teammates urged him to continue criticizing players for being silent on many issues.
Freedom, who recently changed his name and became a United States citizen, granted a phone interview to Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker. They talked about his activism and fellow NBA players' reaction to it. He noted that one of James' current teammates with the LA Lakers told him to continue his activism.
"Actually, one of his current teammates told me to keep speaking the truth, keep calling out these people, because these companies are using these players and they’re making billions of dollars out of them," Freedom said.
"And these players are not educated enough. They’re putting their signature on this paper and signing huge deals with these companies, but, unfortunately, it’s pretty much like modern-day slavery," Freedom added.
Enes Kanter Freedom has aimed criticism at LeBron James since the season started. Freedom mentioned in other interviews that he respects James as a basketball player, wants to educate "The King" regarding the issues with Nike and China.
James is signed to a lifetime contract with Nike, but the huge shoe company has been linked to alleged slave labor of the Uyghur people in China. Nike is only one of at least 87 multinational companies that are reportedly involved in slave labor.
In addition to LeBron James, Enes Kanter Freedom has called out players such as Michael Jordan and Jeremy Lin for staying silent regarding issues with China and Xi Jinping, as well as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Tibet. Freedom also recently called out Venezuela and its dictator Nicolas Maduro.
LeBron James talks trash to Boston Celtics bench as Enes Kanter Freedom looks on
In the recent game between the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics, LeBron James talked a little bit of trash with the opposing team's bench in the third quarter. James was debating with the Celtics bench regarding a foul called on him against Dennis Schröder.
James can be seen talking to Grant Williams and beside him was Enes Kanter Freedom. Other Celtics players such as Josh Richardson and Payton Pritchard also chimed in and all had a good laugh. Even Freedom laughed, but it was evident that he cannot look "The King" straight in the eye.
Nevertheless, Freedom is still open to "educating" LeBron James regarding the issues around Nike and China. They did have an opportunity to talk one-on-one when the Lakers and Celtics faced each other twice already this season.
While no meeting has taken place as of yet, it would be interesting to see if Freedom will continue calling out the four-time NBA champion. James has made it clear that he is not going to talk about Freedom in public, yet he's open to talking in private.
As for the game itself, the Lakers were able to defeat the Celtics 117-102. James led the team with 30 points, four rebounds and five assists. On the other hand, Freedom went scoreless in nine minutes, but he had three rebounds and an assist.