‘When they don’t respect our flag, nobody wants to watch.’
President Donald Trump called out LeBron James at a rally Monday in Pennsylvania, and the crowd responded by chanting that the NBA superstar “sucks.”
A day before the 2020 presidential election, Trump made time to rant about the NBA Finals between James’ Los Angeles Lakers and the Heat.
“How about basketball? “How about LeBron?,” Trump asked the crowd assembled in the city of Avoca. “I felt badly for LeBron, very badly. Down 71% and that’s with the championship,” he continued, USA Today reports.
“I didn’t watch one shot. I get bored. Back, forth, back, forth. You know why? When they don’t respect our country, when they don’t respect our flag, nobody wants to watch,” Trump added.
James previously made clear that the NBA community does not care if Trump watches the games or not.
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership,” James told reporters during a post-game interview in August. “The game will go on without his eyes on it. I can sit here and speak for all of us that love the game of basketball, we could [not] care less.”
Trump appears to be less than impressed that the NBA superstar led the Lakers to their 17th championship last month.
“The NFL is way down,” Trump told his supporters on Monday. “You gotta stand for our flag. You gotta really be great to our flag and to our anthem and if you don’t do that, we’re not watching.”
The crowd then repeatedly chanted “LeBron James sucks.” Watch the moment via the Twitter video embed below.
Trump and James have traded jabs as far back as 2017. Last month, the president called him a “hater” during an interview on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.
“He’s a great basketball player, but people don’t want to see a guy that’s that way. They don’t want to see that. … He’s a hater,” Trump said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “You don’t want to sit down, watch a basketball game, and then watch somebody that hates your guts, okay.”
In a tweet earlier this year, James said Trump made hate “fashionable again” in the United States.
theGrio previously reported, back in 2017, Trump rescinded an invitation to Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors to visit the White House following their National Championship win. James famously responded by calling the president a “ bum” in a tweet.
James has not revealed support of Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, however, he leads non-partisan voter reform efforts through charitable organizations.
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