‘He Walked Right By Me’ | Enes Kanter Slams LeBron James’ Nike Ties Online Before Celtics Destroyed the Lakers In Blowout Win, But Kanter Didn’t Really Want Any Smoke

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While LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers showed mortality losing to the Boston Celtics, Enes Kanter took the opportunity to welcome the King back disrespectfully.

Kanter has gone on a crusade against China for what he considers various human rights offenses.

Kanter previously criticized James’ comments following former Rockets GM and current 76ers president Daryl Morey’s public support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

James blasted Morey for messing up the China bag and said the GM “was either misinformed or not really educated on the situation.”

LBJ was dragged through the social media mosh pit, and Kanter was one of those critics.

He used last night’s game as an opportunity to come for LeBron again, this time concerning Bron’s affiliation with Nike.

Kanter wore customized sneakers that depicted James bowing and crowned by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Respectfully?

“Nike remains vocal about injustice here in America, but when it comes to China, Nike remains silent,” Kanter wrote in a social media post. Kanter used the hashtags #HypocriteNike and #EndUyghurForcedLabor to stress his point.

Kanter has been very outspoken against Nike co-founder Phil Knight and the company’s alleged forced labor links in China.

“Money over morals. Sad and disgusting how these athletes pretend they care about social justice,” Kanter tweeted. “They really do shut up and 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?”

Kanter has been critical of the King on social media, but he didn’t seem to have that same energy when he saw Bron on several occasions prior to Friday night’s game.

Bron says he saw Kanter in the hallway and “he walked right by me.”

Then Kanter saw Bron during warmups and acted like he didn’t see James again.

No Bad Energy Please

James said Kanter is “not someone I would give my energy to.” After all, James has a lot on his mind with the performance of the Lakers.

LeBron’s Return To The Court Is Getting Closer | What Does This Mean For The Lakers’ Title Hopes?

When you engineer a group of All-Stars, the assumption of a superteam being in-game superheroes is warranted. But the Lakers show that even when you arrange a mini Dream Team, things aren’t always what they seem.

Bean Town Blunder

Last night in Boston the Lakers took a 130-108 loss in LeBron James’ return to action. It was the first time in over two weeks that LeBron played after recovering from an abdomen strain.

The “King” scored 23 points, going 10-for-16 in shooting, with two assists, six rebounds, and two steals, but it was not enough. Anthony Davis had the high hand with 31 points and six rebounds, but it just wasn’t enough.

“Physically I felt OK and good enough to know that I can trust my body and get out and play tonight,” said James at the postgame press conference. “So I’m more looking forward to seeing how I’m feeling tomorrow when I wake up. That is the telltale sign if I’m moving in the right direction with my injury.”

No Chemistry

However, the real issue is that the chemistry of an engineered super team comes with the assumption of immediate victory. There is little room for the time it takes to gel into a championship-caliber squadron; the Lakers are supposed to be that upon inception.

Now sitting at 8-9 and fourth in the Western Conference, the pundits and fans feel the weight of their star’s frustrations on the court.

“We have to get committed to playing as a team offensively,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel at the postgame press conference. “And when we do, like we saw in the first quarter, it looks beautiful, and you see the potential of what we can be.

“But we got into holding the ball too much and not playing for each other enough. But that’s part of learning each other and building that cohesiveness and the right habits. And then defensively, guys are going to have big roles if they commit to the defensive side. And if they don’t, they’re not. It’s that simple.”

The Last Laugh

Ironically, the former Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder, who is now with the Celtics, had the last laugh. “Dennis The Menace” lobbed 21 points, six assists, and six rebounds.

In comparison, Russell Westbrook, who replaced Schroder as the Lakers’ floor general during the offseason, scored 12 points with six assists and four rebounds. It underscored the reality that is merely placing individuals with a legacy of accomplishments together does not make a championship.

“I think the reality of it is everybody on the outside have really high expectations of our team, as they should,” said Westbrook at the postgame press conference. “But the reality of it is we haven’t really played with each other, realistically, and nobody cares, and everybody asks the same question, and I’m tired of giving the same answer to the same question every time we lose.

“It’s like, ‘Hey, how long do you think it’s going to take?’ We don’t know. When we win, it’s still going to take some time. So the reality of it is, throughout the season, there’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. It’s now what you do as a team. You can pull apart, or you can come together and figure it out.”

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The Lakers have been known through history as having super team energy, or, at minimum, a super duo’s energy. From Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, Michael Cooper, and Byron Scott to just Shaq O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Robert Horry, Rick Fox, and Brian Shaw, the Lake show means excellence.

Now with players on the latter ends of their careers, the Lakers are showing the reality behind the super team myth.

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.