LeBron James fires back at Trump after insult: 'You really got this much time that you can comment on me?'

  • "That's like somebody saying I can't play ball," James told The Hollywood Reporter. "That doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that he has time to even do that. He has the most powerful job in the world."
  • James was responding to questions about how Trump attacked him on Twitter following a CNN interview in which the all-star criticized the president for "using sports to kind of divide us."
  • Trump has launched several high-profile attacks on athletes and sports organizations in light of the controversy over NFL players kneeling in protest of police brutality during the national anthem before games.

NBA superstar and new Los Angeles Laker LeBron James isn't bothered that President Donald Trump recently insulted his intelligence, but he is wondering why the commander in chief bothered to do it in the first place.

"That's like somebody saying I can't play ball," James said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "That doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that he has time to even do that. He has the most powerful job in the world. Like, you really got this much time that you can comment on me?"

James was responding to questions about how Trump insulted him on Twitter following a CNN interview in which the all-star criticized the president for "using sports to kind of divide us." The three-time NBA champion was also promoting a new, public elementary school he was opening in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do," Trump tweeted in August.

Trump's attack sparked an outcry, and many prominent figures stuck up for James. First lady Melania Trump said at the time that she believed James "is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation."

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on James' remarks.

Trump has launched several high-profile attacks on athletes and sports organizations in light of the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality. Earlier this year, the president rescinded a White House invitation to the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles after it became evident that several players would not attend the event.

Recently, the president criticized Nike's decision to feature Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback who helped spark the kneeling protests, in a new ad campaign.

James and Trump have butted heads heads before, as well.

The basketball star ripped Trump's decision to un-invite Stephen Curry and the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House last year. Curry had already said he wasn't going to go, and there were reports that the team wasn't likely to attend.

James' tweet, in which he called Trump a "bum," was the most retweeted athlete post of last year, according to Twitter.

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