Although LeBron James and Enes Kanter did not exchange words Friday night at TD Garden, Kanter's shoes spoke very loudly.
One of Kanter's shoes pictured a James-like figure being crowned by Chinese president Xi Jinping, while the other referenced James' comments in 2019 regarding Daryl Morey's support of protests in Hong Kong.
Kanter posted images of the custom sneakers on Twitter, tagging James and Nike. The caption read, "Money over Morals for the 'King' ... Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice ... They really do 'shut up and dribble' when Big Boss (China) says so ... Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research?"
Money over Morals for the “King” 👑
Sad & disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice
They really do “shut up & dribble” when Big Boss 🇨🇳 says so
Did you educate yourself about the slave labor that made your shoes or is that not part of your research? pic.twitter.com/YUA8rGYeoZ
— Enes Kanter (@EnesKanter) November 18, 2021
James responded to Kanter's comments in a post-game press conference after the Los Angeles Lakers' loss to the Boston Celtics.
"I think if you know me, you know 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 seen him in the hallway, and he walked right by me."
LeBron on Enes Kanter: "He's trying to use my name to create an opportunity for himself...As a man, if you've got an issue with somebody, you come up to him. He had his opportunity tonight. I seen him in the hallway & he walked right by me.pic.twitter.com/KYDh5o6AMA
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) November 20, 2021
Kanter has worn several custom pairs of sneakers to advocate for human rights issues in China the entire season, including ones that read, "Free China," Free Hong Kong," "No Beijing 2022," "Hypocrite Nike," and "Made with slave labor."
Contact Analis Bailey at email@example.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James responds to Enes Kanter's shoes criticizing him