Publish date:

Enes Kanter Trolls LeBron James After First Career Ejection

This Enes Kanter-LeBron James feud thing is the best beef in the NBA right now. 

Someone forgot to tell Enes Kanter that, as a general rule, it's not good to mess with the King. 

Shortly after LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his career against the Heat on Tuesday, Kanter posted a tweet aimed at James. In it, he crowns the ref who booted James the King of Cleveland—James previously called himself the King of New York—and mocks James' oft-used hashtag #StriveForGreatness.

It's a pretty savage move in its own right, but it takes on new meaning when you consider these two players' history.

You'll remember that Kanter first got into it with LeBron James when the Knicks hosted the Cavs at Madison Square Garden earlier this month. That game came right after James said the Knicks shouldn't have passed on Dennis Smith Jr. in the draft, which was perceived by Knicks players as a slight to the player New York did draft, Frank Ntilikina. James got into a mini skirmish with Ntilikina during the game and Kanter came running to the rookie's defense. He jawed with James, but the real headlines were made after the game. 

Shortly after the contest, which the Cavs won 104-101 after overcoming a 23-point deficit, Kanter told reporters that he isn't intimidated by James. 

SI Recommends

"I don't care who you are," Kanter said. "What do you call yourself, 'King,' 'Queen,' 'Princess,' whatever you are. We're going to fight. Nobody out there is going to punk us. We went out there and played our game. We're going to go out there and get better every day."

When a reporter told James what Kanter had to say, he responded with a truly remarkable comeback.

"I’m the king, my wife is the queen and my daughter is the princess so we got all three covered," James somehow came up with on the spot. 

A bit later, James posted a picture of himself on the Garden floor to Instagram. In the caption, he deemed himself the king of New York and included the hashtag #myfavoriteplayground.

On the scale of the seriousness of athlete beefs, which ranges from zero-to-Crabtree/Talib, this Kanter-LeBron thing falls somewhere closer to zero. The trash talk isn't nefarious nor personal, but it's still trash talk, which is always fun.