LeBron James hasn’t been a member of the Los Angeles Lakers for very long and he’s yet to take the floor wearing purple and gold, but the newest Laker is a valuable one and the team is expressing that notion in the wake of Donald Trump’s tweet about LeBron’s intelligence.
Donald Trump tweeted late Friday about James, insulting his intelligence apparently after watching an interview James gave on CNN. The tweet sparked outrage in the NBA community, followed by support from players who have dealt with Trump’s tweets before like Steph Curry. Even Michael Jordan, who Trump claimed to prefer over James in his tweet, sent out a statement of support for James on Saturday.
Melania Trump, the First Lady, even released a somewhat confusing statement about James and his work with children. But one of the most significant statements on Saturday came from James’ new employer, the Lakers and Jeanie Buss.
Buss, CEO and owner of the Lakers, issued a statement on behalf of the franchise that praised LeBron as a “thoughtful and intelligent leader” who should be “celebrated by all.”
“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.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver also spoke out in support of James in a statement on Saturday while in Africa for the NBA’s international initiative.
Buss and Silver join the chorus of support James has gotten from the NBA community, which seems united in standing up to the president tweeting insults to its athletes, many of which are people of color.