NBA commissioner praises LeBron James's 'intelligence and business acumen' after Trump's disparaging tweet
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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver praised LeBron James over the weekend following a tweet by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE that insulted the NBA superstar's intelligence.

In a statement Saturday to USA Today, Silver lauded James as “one of the all-time greatest NBA players and one of the most accomplished athletes,” and he praised his “intelligence and business acumen.”


“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,” Silver said. “I greatly admire his intelligence and business acumen and have enormous respect and appreciation for what he does in his community.”

The statement did not mention Trump or his tweet, which came after the NBA star appeared on CNN for an interview with host Don Lemon about his new “I Promise” school for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio.

“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”

The tweet sparked a wave of backlash on social media and from prominent sports and political figures, with many calling the comment “racist,” pointing to Trump’s pattern of targeting black athletes.

First lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate GOP, House Democrats begin battle over trillion bill Melania Trump announces plans to renovate White House Rose Garden Trump tweets photo of himself wearing a mask MORE, however, voiced support for James and also said that she would be “open to visiting” the school.

Los Angeles Lakers CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss issued a statement in support of James, who was recently signed to the team.

“We could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family,” Buss said. 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.”