Melania Trump has praised LeBron James for his charity work, saying she is open to visiting his new public school, hours after her husband Donald Trump questioned the National Basketball Association superstar's intelligence. "He's doing an fantastic job for his community", the Chicago Bulls legend said.
On Friday night, the President tweeted about CNN anchor Don Lemon's interview with James, writing, "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon". On Monday, James was in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, to welcome children to his I Promise School, which was built as part of a partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation and Akron City Schools.
To the sporting world and largely beyond, he's King James, but to the US President Donald Trump, LeBron James is no intellectual genius.
Following the airing of the interview, the President insulted James and interviewer Don Lemon in a series of tweets.
LeBron James addresses the media after the opening ceremonies of the I Promise School on July 30, 2018 in Akron, Ohio.
Melania Trump isn't on her husband's side in his personal battle with LeBron James.
"I support LeBron James".
"Sports has never been something that divides people", James told Lemon. His biography on the official NBA website reads, "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time".
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Mr Trump derided the intelligence of one of the nation's most prominent African-American men in a late-night tweet.
However, Melania's spokeswoman said James was "working to do good things" with a school in his OH hometown.
James first said Mr. Trump is using sports to divide Americans at a press conference in September 2017, when Mr. Trump claimed he had disinvited Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, although the team had decided not to visit.
Several NBA players, however, fired back at President Trump in the wake of the tweet. Laker fans who spoke with Eyewitness News also felt the same way, often mentioning the school James opened and how he's impacted those kids' lives.
James explained why he called Trump a "bum" on his Twitter account.
"Going to the White House was a great honor until you showed up!"