LeBron James Donald Trump Twitter

Keith Allison/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

Donald Trump rips LeBron James—and the internet immediately dunks all over him

James won't 'shut up and dribble.'


Josh Katzowitz


Posted on Aug 4, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 9:29 am CDT

LeBron James has made no efforts to conceal his dislike for President Donald Trump.

The most famous basketball player in the world—and also, the most talented—ripped Trump last season after he rescinded a White House invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. A few days later, James proclaimed he wouldn’t let Trump divide the nation through sports, saying “the people run this country, not one individual. And damn sure not him.”

On Friday night, as James was interviewed by CNN’s Don Lemon—another occasional target of Trump’s—the president felt compelled to tweet something nasty. Trump wrote, “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”

That last line presumably refers to Michael Jordan and the neverending debate about whether Jordan or James is the best player in NBA history. But nobody cared about Trump weighing in on that debate.

No, the internet focused on Trump using his Twitter powers to blast James—who, by the way, has received near-unanimous praise for recently opening a public school in Akron, Ohio that will help at-risk children with free tuition, free meals, and free bicycles and will give them a free scholarship to the University of Akron if the students graduate high school.

After Trump’s late-night tweet, the internet seethed at him.



And though there was no racist language in Trump’s tweet, Twitter certainly picked up on that vibe. Remember, James’ Los Angeles home was vandalized by a racial slur last year, and in the aftermath, he said, “Racism will always be a part of the world, a part of America. It’s alive every single day… No matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough and we have a long way to go.”


In February, Fox News host Laura Ingraham told James to “shut up and dribble,” a suggestion that motivated James to post this on Instagram.

Chances are James is not going to shut up—or stop making a positive impact on his community—any time soon.

Update 1:49pm CT: In the feud between her husband and James, first lady Melania Trump has picked her side. And she’s backing James.

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*First Published: Aug 4, 2018, 8:03 am CDT