LeBron James returned to the podium Monday for the Cavaliers’ media day, where the NBA great quickly gave voice to his tweet on Saturday which labeled President Trump a “bum.”
James, who had responded to Trump’s tweet disinviting Warriors rival Stephen Curry to the White House, explained his choice of words to reporters in Cleveland.
“Me and my friends call each other that all the time. I’m not his friend, though,” James clarified. “He’s not my friend.”
James on Saturday wrote: “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”
James, who mostly referred to Trump as “that guy” on Monday, said he had no regrets about the tweet.
“When I woke up and saw what he said about Steph Curry,” James said. “First of all, it’s so funny because, it’s like you inviting me to your party, it’s not like you invited me, it’s almost like, ‘Tom, hey, I’m not gonna be able to make it. I’m not coming.’ And then you’re like, ‘Hey LeBron, you’re not invited.’ I wasn’t coming anyways! So that was funny to me when I woke up and saw that.”
James said Trump’s comments about Curry and his recent criticism of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem show that the President has no concept of how to lead a nation.
“He doesn’t understand the power that he has for being the leader of this beautiful country,” James said. “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. That’s what makes me more sick than anything — this is the No. 1 position in the world … and we are at a time where the most powerful position in the world has an opportunity to bring us closer together as a people. And inspire the youth, and put the youth at ease on saying that it is OK for me to walk down the street and not be judged because of the color of my skin or because of my race. And he has no recollection of that, and he doesn’t even care.”
“The people run this country, not one individual. And damn sure not him,” James added.
James also backed the dozens of NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem on Sunday, saying the polarizing protest isn’t about what Trump says it is.
“It’s not about disrespect for the flag and military and people who served,” he said. “It’s about equality and having the option and freedom to speak about things they feel are unjust.”
James, however, did not indicate he’d be joining the movement started last season by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“My voice is more powerful than my knee,” James said.