Melania praises LeBron James after Trump insults National Basketball Association star

Lynette Rowe
August 7, 2018

Less than 24 hours after that tweet, basketball legend Michael Jordan voiced his support for LeBron, releasing a statement through a spokesperson that read, "I support LJ". "He's doing an incredible job for his community".

"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon", snarked Trump.

Melania Trump's spokeswoman quickly distanced the first lady from the criticism of James, saying in a statement Saturday afternoon that it appeared James was "working to do good things on behalf of our next generation" and that the first lady would be open to visiting his new school for at-risk children.

The president's endorsement of basketball star Michael Jordan was perhaps a reference to the long-standing debate over whether Jordan or James is the better all-time player.

While James has not commented on Trump's tweet, others have responded both directly and indirectly - like the First Lady.

James himself steered clear of the matter on social media, on Saturday only tweeting a picture of students at his new school with the message: "Let's get it kids".

Attacking Mr Trump, James later tweeted: "U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain't going!"

Trump had apparently watched the rebroadcast of the interview, which originally aired Monday, CNN said.

Mr. James, one of the most prominent athletes in the US, has been critical of Mr. Trump for years.

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Someone else commented: "Lebron's school will make a more powerful and positive impact in more people's than Trump could ever dream of".

Trump has repeatedly and strongly criticised the NFL in particular for not punishing players who kneel during the national anthem in a form of protest.

This is not the first time James and the president have been at odds. The visit came on the heels of controversy over Trump's late Friday tweet.

Jordan responded to that, praising James for helping his community.

The I Promise School is the culmination of almost a decade of work by James' foundation, with its focus on educating children from challenging situations and backgrounds. It was the first lady and Trump daughter and top aide Ivanka Trump who urged the president to reverse course on family separations, the president said.

"That wasn't her taking sides", the official said, "that was her office stick to what she is focused on, which is using Be Best for what it's intended - to help children".

Many tweeters suggested that Trump may have held out from criticising James until he moved away from OH, which is a crucial swing state for the President.

This would not be the first time Trump has insulted any African American for standing up to him and his policies.

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