‘I support LJ’ (LeBron James)

LeBron James speaks after the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron Ohio

LeBron James speaks after the opening ceremony for the I Promise School in Akron Ohio

Trump hadn't tweeted at James since he took office, so Friday's tweet was a predictable sea change on social media.

Around midnight Friday, President Donald Trump attacked the intelligence of basketball titan LeBron James, tweeting that an interviewer "made Lebron look smart, which isn't easy to do".

Lemon came to James' defense on Saturday morning, tweeting: "Who's the real dummy?"

He later said Trump's rhetoric was harmful in the wake of violence in Charlottesville previous year, where white supremacists and counterprotesters clashed and one woman was killed. I was like 'this is all because of sports.' And sports has never been something that divided people.

"I support LJ. He's doing an fantastic job for his community", Jordan said in a statement provided to The Washington Post by a spokesperson.

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 is unbecoming of someone in his position. "You know?" said James, who on Monday opened an elementary school for at-risk youth in his native Akron, Ohio.

There aren't many people in the world who Donald Trump hasn't slagged off, let's face it.

Trump's timing is curious to say the least considering the fact that James' CNN interview was not the first time he voiced his displeasure at Trump's leadership. "I like Mike!" -the 45 president garnered over 39 thousand re-tweets as well as a response from his preferred player Michael Jordan; who told NBC News, "I support L.J., he's doing an fantastic job for his community".

The school's curriculum was crafted with the help of Akron County educators, who say they've long seen their students underperforming in the classroom. Acclaimed sportswriter Bill Simmons wrote that James is a "smart dude" and "one of the most thoughtful athletes we have".

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to clarify Trump's remarks.

"[James] is a great family man, incredible ballplayer, gives back to his community, and isn't afraid to speak his mind", Clinton tweeted on Saturday.

"So let me get this straight: Flint, Missouri, has dirty water still, but you anxious about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown?" he asked the president on Twitter.

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