In the interview, James discussed the impact of sports and how it brings people together. He said he felt Trump was “using sports to kinda divide us.”
“Sports has never been something that divides people,” James told Lemon. “It’s always been something that brings someone together.”
Trump’s tweet came four days after the CNN interview originally aired. In the tweet, Trump also appeared to take sides in the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, saying, “I like Mike!”
James has publicly criticized Trump before. In September 2017, he called Trump a “bum” for rescinding his invitation to the Golden State Warriors to celebrate their championship with a visit to the White House.
Also that month, after Trump suggested that NFL players should be “fired” for “disrespecting the flag” when they take a knee or otherwise choose not to participate in the national anthem, James said Trump’s conduct was unbecoming of someone in his position.
“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country,” James said then. “He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race, look up to the president of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that, and that’s what makes me more sick than anything, that we have someone that’s … this is the most, this is the No. 1 position in the world.”
James has continued to be critical of the president and his policies, and in June, while still a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, James said neither his team nor the rival Warriors would accept an invitation to the White House after winning the NBA championship. Trump subsequently said neither team would be invited.