Celtics' Kanter slams LeBron's 'ridiculous' vaccine viewpoint

Winslow Townson / Sports Illustrated / Getty

Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter criticized Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James for not urging other NBA players to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

James admitted earlier in the week that he's vaccinated after initially being hesitant about getting the shot, adding, "I think everyone has their own choice to do what they feel is right for themselves and their family."

Kanter called out James during an appearance on CNN Sunday for refusing to use his platform to advocate for positive change, saying, "When I heard it, I was very disappointed, and it's ridiculous."

"Obviously, LeBron James, he's one of the faces of the league, and he should be the first one to go out there and say, 'Listen, everyone. I got the vaccine, and I'm encouraging everyone - my community, everyone, basketball fans, non-basketball fans, and sports fans - (to go) out there and get this vaccine, so we can save other lives.'"

Kanter continued, "But I hope he can educate himself about this vaccination and inspire and encourage other people around him."

Kanter and James have a long, combative history together that includes an on-court scuffle in 2017 and several instances when the Turkish big man called out the four-time NBA champ on Twitter.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka recently claimed his entire roster would be fully vaccinated in time for the team's regular-season opener against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19.

NBA players aren't required to get fully vaccinated despite attempts made by the league to enforce rules that the players' union blocked. Specific markets like San Francisco and New York City have local mandates in place preventing unvaccinated players from participating in home games.

The NBA reached a 95% vaccination threshold for its players Thursday, marking an increase since training camps opened, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski earlier in the week.

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Celtics' Kanter slams LeBron's 'ridiculous' vaccine viewpoint
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