The Lakers on Saturday announced their support for LeBron James in response to President Donald Trump's disparaging remark on Twitter about James.
"We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family," team CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss said in a statement. "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."
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NBA commissioner Adam Silver added his own statement Saturday from South Africa, where was attending the annual NBA Africa Game. Like Buss, Silver was supportive.
James has not responded publicly to Trump's tweeting that CNN anchor/reporter Don Lemon made James "look smart, which isn't easy to do," during Lemon's recent interview with the NBA superstar. James' only tweet as of 8 p.m. ET Saturday referred to his new I Promise school for at-risk children in James' hometown, Akron, Ohio.
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Trump's tweet was, in all likelihood, a response to James saying during the interview that Trump was using sports to divide Americans. James had made other statements critical of the president in the past, most notably his "U bum" tweet in 2017 after Trump disinvited the NBA champion Warriors to the White House because Stephen Curry and other team members were balking at attending.
Trump ended his tweet Friday with "I like Mike," which was taken as a reference to Michael Jordan. Jordan responded Saturday through a spokesman, saying he supports "LJ" and that James is "doing an amazing job for his community." Jordan did not mention Trump in his statement.
James signed with the Lakers as a free agent in July 2018 after a second stint with the Cavaliers. James led Cleveland to an NBA title in 2016 and four consecutive trips to The Finals.