Adam Silver Defends LeBron James After Donald Trump Insult

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 10: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media after the Board of Governors meetings on July 10, 2018 at The Encore Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/Getty Images

NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a statement Saturday supporting LeBron James after remarks made by President Donald Trump late Friday night. 

"LeBron is one of the all-time greatest NBA players and one of the most accomplished athletes," Silver told USA Today's Sam Amick. "He runs a very successful media company. He's sent hundreds of students to college and just opened a school in Akron where at-risk students will receive free tuition, meals and transportation. I greatly admire his intelligence and business acumen and have enormous respect and appreciation for what he does in his community."

In his tweet, Trump called CNN's Don Lemon "the dumbest man on television" who "made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do." The President ended the message by saying, "I like Mike!" in reference to Michael Jordan. 

Jordan, through a spokesperson, issued a statement backing James on Saturday morning. 

"I support LJ," he said, per NBC News' Geoff Bennett. "He's doing an amazing job for his community."

Over the past year, James has not shied away from divulging his feelings about Trump publicly. 

After referring to the president as a "bum" for pulling the Golden State Warriors' White House invitation following their 2016-17 NBA title, James told Lemon he would not sit across from him if presented with the opportunity. 

"I would never sit across from him," he said. "I'd sit across from Barack [Obama], though."