LeBron: Basketball Community Couldn't Care Less if Trump Tunes Out

Dan Mennella
August 06, 2020 - 2:40 am

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James responded to President Trump's recent criticism of the NBA for allowing players to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump during a Wednesday morning appearance on FOX News said it was "disgraceful" for players to be kneeling during the anthem, and that he changes the channel when he sees it.

James weighed in after the Lakers' loss to the Thunder on Wednesday night, saying Trump's stance on kneeling was of no consequence within the game.

"I really don't think the basketball community is sad about losing his viewership. ... The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us who love the game of basketball -- we couldn't care less."

James wasn't the only one to take note of Trump's incendiary interview.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers also responded earlier on Wednesday, characterizing Trump's remarks as "disgraceful."

Trump suggested he was upset with the kneeling after the government worked with the league to get its season restarted.

“We work very hard trying to get them open. I was pushing them to get open. And then I see everyone kneeling during the anthem. It’s not acceptable to me. When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game. I have no interest in the game.”

James has had his brushes with Trump in the past, famously wading into Trump's feud with the Golden State Warriors and superstar Steph Curry when they declined the customary invitation to attend the White House to celebrate their NBA title in 2017.

James called Trump a "bum" after Trump claimed he had revoked the Warriors' invitation rather than the team declining.

On Wednesday, James appeared to calculate his words carefully given his past with Trump.

"That's all I gotta say. I don't want to -- I'm not going to get into a ... Because I already know where this can go, where it can lead to tomorrow for me. I'm not going to get into it, but I think our game in a beautiful position."

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