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There's no love lost between Enes Freedom, the Boston Celtics player who was known as Enes Kanter until he changed his name and became a U.S. citizen on Monday, and LeBron James. But Freedom wants to have a chat with James, even though it might not be pleasant for the Los Angeles Lakers star.
"Sure, I'd love to sit down and talk to him," Freedom said Tuesday after the Celtics' practice, via ESPN. "I'm sure it's going to be a very uncomfortable conversation for him. I don't know if he's gonna want that. I'll make that really comfortable for him.
"I don't know if he's educated enough, but I'm here to educate him and I'm here to help him, because it's not about money. It's about morals, principles and values. It's about what you stand for. There are way bigger things than money.
Freedom wants to "educate" James about human rights violations in China. He's been very vocal about that subject, recently calling James and Nike hypocrites for not speaking out on the issue.
“Players need to do their research, and they have to educate themselves before they put their signature on the paper and sign the lifetime deals and stuff, because obviously everybody knows how I feel about some of the sponsors we have,” Freedom said via Boston.com. “Nike, to me [is] the biggest hypocrite company out there. … I feel like we need to be careful of what we are wearing, because every time you put those items on your feet or back, there’s so much blood or sweat or oppression on those items. So be careful.”
Freedom disputes James' story about brush-off
Freedom called out James about China in a mid-November social media post, saying that James was placing "money over morals." A few days later the Celtics and Lakers faced off in Boston, and James was asked about Freedom's comments.
"I don't give too many people my energy," James said via Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach. "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."
Freedom disputed that last part on Tuesday. In his version of the story, he said James is the one who walked past him without saying anything.
"I was actually on the court and after I left the court, he was behind me. ... Then I stopped to take a picture with a kid, and he was the one who walked right past me," Freedom said via ESPN.
If Freedom and James want to actually have a conversation, they'll get the chance on Dec. 7 when the Celtics play the Lakers in Los Angeles.