Enes Kanter went at LeBron James yet again on Tuesday night, adding to a laundry list of tweets, quotes, and actions that make him one of the NBA’s most loyal and fiery teammates.
After LeBron was ejected for the first time in his career in Cleveland’s win over the Heat on Tuesday, Kanter tweeted a picture, circling the referee as “The King of Cleveland.”
It was a direct attack at James, who donned himself the King of New York after nearly posting a triple-double in a three-point Nov. 13 win over the Knicks.
Kanter’s petty wars aren’t anything new. Here’s how his clap-back game has evolved over the years:
Enes Kanter went after Kevin Durant
When Durant announced he was leaving Oklahoma City for Golden State, he tweeted a link to his Player’s Tribune piece titled, “My Next Chapter.”
Russell Westbrook signed a short-term contract extension shortly after, and Kanter made a spoof of Durant’s artwork:
I ain't gonna join the enemy— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) August 4, 2016
I'm here to compete pic.twitter.com/2Elu93b4P5
Later that season, in Durant’s first game back in OKC after leaving for Golden State, Kanter started jawing at his former teammate from the bench.
Kevin Durant vs. Enes Kanter war of words (full exchange) pic.twitter.com/4bC8EWFuou— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) November 4, 2016
Kanter’s pettiness continued this season after Durant was exposed for using separate social media accounts to defend himself on Twitter. In his tweets, he bashed Thunder head coach Billy Donovan and the lack of a supporting cast in Oklahoma City as reasons he left town.
KD has secret accounts that he uses to defend himself and forgot to switch to them when he was replying to this guy I'm actually speechless pic.twitter.com/9245gnpa3c— 8-11 / 5-1 (@harrisonmc15) September 18, 2017
Kanter responded to Durant’s criticism on Twitter two days later:
“I don’t care what anyone says. Oklahoma City Thunder is the best and most professional organization in the NBA and got the craziest fans,” he wrote, just days before being traded to the Knicks for Carmelo Anthony. “We win-we lose but the most important thing we stick together because we are one. And those case, I call them FAMILY.”
Then he went on CBS Radio to clarify and double down on his tweet:
"Well, I’m not angry. It’s just really sad," Kanter said. "I remember when he was here — I played with (Durant) one-and-a-half years — and when he was here, this organization and these fans, this whole state, gave him everything he asked for, everything he wanted. The cooks, the chefs, the massage therapists, the coaches, players — everything — just (to make) sure he is okay and getting what he wanted to get."
Then he got into it with LeBron
Kanter’s beef with LeBron started when The King said Mavericks’ rookie Dennis Smith Jr. “should be a Knick.” The Knicks drafted Frank Ntilikina over Smith in the 2017 NBA Draft, and Kanter defended his rookie on Twitter, commenting “Nope!! We love what we got... Thanks!!!”
Nope!!— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) November 12, 2017
We love what we got...
When the Cavaliers and Knicks played the next day, Ntilikina and James got into a small scuffle. Kanter came to the rescue and got in LeBron’s face:
After the game, Kanter said he doesn’t care what LeBron calls himself, “the King, queen or princess, [the Knicks] are gonna fight.”
Enes Kanter with BARS for LeBron post game. Wow! pic.twitter.com/OFtmg9oHkT— Jeff J. (@JeffJSays) November 14, 2017
Remember when LeBron said Enes Kanter always has a comment? Yeah.— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) November 29, 2017
He also got a warning for telling his teammates to fight their opponents in late November:
"I'm not going to tell who, but I told somebody, ‘Hey man, go out there and fight with somebody. It will get the energy up,’" he said, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley. “No, I'm serious. If you go out there and just hit somebody or just fight with somebody, get a technical foul, I will pay for the fine, I don't care. Just go out there and do your thing. Because we need that energy, we need that fight. It doesn't matter if we're down by 25, a fight, get a technical foul, the crowd is in it, and they're gonna get nervous."
He even spoke out against the president of his home country, Turkey
Kanter called the Turkish president “the Hitler of our Century.”
HEY WORLD— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 2, 2017
MY DAD HAS BEEN ARRESTED
by Turkish government and the Hitler of our century
He is potentially to get tortured as thousand others
Kanter is a fiery guy. He has his guns and he sticks to them, no matter what. Kanter survived getting detained in a Romanian airport. He took on the NBA’s two best players, head-on, and emerged unscathed.
If there’s anyone you might want in your corner — or on your team — it’s this guy.