In what is now a surreal reality for Los Angeles Lakers fans, the president of the United States of America tweeted about the team’s star player to discredit his intelligence. After LeBron James’ comments earlier this week about the president using sports to divide the country, Donald Trump did just that in his response.
Of course, going after the most popular athlete in America is fool’s gold, and James has been met with an outburst of support from the NBA community as a whole. In fact, two of the most powerful figures in the NBA have released statements supporting James in the face of this recent criticism.
First, Charlotte Hornets owner and arguable GOAT (LeBron better) Michael Jordan released his statement praising James for his work in the community. If you do not recall, Trump ended his tweet with “I like Mike!” a reference either to the James-Jordan GOAT debates in the NBA or to his favorite character in Monsters, Inc.
Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan’s official statement, via spokesperson, in wake of Donald Trump tweet referencing him and LeBron James: “I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 4, 2018
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a similar statement:
Statement to USA TODAY Sports from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who is in Johannesburg, South Africa for the third NBA Africa Game (in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation), in response to President Trump’s tweet about LeBron James and CNN’s Don Lemon pic.twitter.com/5Q01VX0bt6
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) August 4, 2018
Perhaps most importantly, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss’ statement spoke on the Lakers’ pride to have James representing them off the court:
“We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family. He is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent leader and clearly appreciates the power that sports has to unite communities and inspire the world to be a better place. Those efforts should be celebrated by all.”
Silver and Jordan (and their somewhat weak statements, in my humble opinion) as well as Buss were not the only ones supporting The King as plenty of NBA players took to social media to speak on how much James’ activism means to them:
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 4, 2018
He’s gotta go! https://t.co/rujnO4rbYH
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) August 4, 2018
So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown? Shut your damn mouth! Stop using them twitter fingers and get stuff done for our country with that pen. https://t.co/sEkX3OKaJM
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 4, 2018
I've been silent about ALL of the DUMB stuff this man has tweeted but THIS is attacking the NBA brotherhood and I'm not rollin'! What an embarrassment… https://t.co/zHjgokig8R
— Anthony Tolliver (@ATolliver44) August 4, 2018
Him mad huh 😂😂😂😂
— C.J. Watson (@Quietstorm_32) August 4, 2018
Tired of you! https://t.co/3vYwL0OyMx
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) August 4, 2018
James has not made any public comments on Trump’s criticism but that probably won’t change anytime soon. When you’re the King, you let your support speak for itself.