News and Commentary

Turkish-Born Celtics Player RIPS LeBron Over China Comments: ‘Freedom Is Not Free’
Enes Kanter reacts during a press conference as he is introduced as a member of the Boston Celtics at the Auerbach Center at New Balance World Headquarters on July 17, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

On Monday night, Boston Celtics player Enes Kanter, who was born and raised in Turkey, laid into Los Angeles Laker LeBron James for his widely-criticized comments regarding Communist China and censorship.

Speaking to reporters, James complained that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted out his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and criticized the principle of freedom of speech, noting that it can have “a lot of negatives.”

“We all talk about this freedom of speech, yes, we all do have freedom of speech, but at times there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others and you’re only thinking about yourself,” the NBA star said, as reported by The Daily Wire on Monday night. “I don’t want to get into a … feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand and he spoke. So many people could have been harmed, not only financially, but physically, emotionally, and spiritually.”

“So, just be careful what we tweet and say and what we do even though, yes, we do have freedom of speech, there can be a lot of negatives that comes with that too,” James added.

Kanter, who was banned from his home nation of Turkey after he was vocal about his opposition to authoritarian leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, let his frustration with James’ comments known soon after the story hit social media, though Kanter never used James’ name.

In one tweet seemingly directed at James, Kanter listed the injustices he’s faced for speaking up against Erdogan:

-Haven’t seen or talked to my family 5 years

-Jailed my dad

-My siblings can’t find jobs

-Revoked my passport

-International arrest warrant

-My family can’t leave the country

-Got Death Threats everyday

-Got attacked, harassed

-Tried to kidnap me in Indonesia

“FREEDOM IS NOT FREE,” he added, all in caps.

Tweets preceding the pointed post were also seemingly directed at James, which included a disappointing “Wow, dude” and “SMH,” which is the acronym for “shaking my head.”

Earlier on Monday, Kanter posted a video clip of his appearance on Fox Business discussing the retaliation he’s faced from Erdogan for speaking out against the government and asking President Donald Trump, whom he said he’d love to meet, to sanction Turkey.

Turkish President #DictatorErdogan has taken #Turkey towards a dangerous path, and l believe if ‘America puts #SANCTIONS on Turkey’ it will solve the problem,” Kanter captioned the video. “Turkey went from a Democracy to a Dictatorship under [Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s] rule.”


As noted by The Daily Wire, James followed-up his much-maligned China comments with tweets that only added fuel to criticism against him.

“Let me clear up the confusion. I do not believe there was any consideration for the consequences and ramifications of the tweet. I’m not discussing the substance. Others can talk about that,” posted James.

“My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet.

Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Turkish-Born Celtics Player RIPS LeBron Over China Comments: ‘Freedom Is Not Free’