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Melania Trump praises LeBron James in the heat of Twitter uproar

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Melania Trump praises LeBron James in the heat of Twitter uproar

Melania Trump has stepped away from her husband’s criticism of NBA star LeBron James to compliment his work on behalf of children and even offer to visit his school for at-risk children.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.” Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, said in a statement Saturday.

The statement’s tone was in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s tweet Friday night following James’ appearance on CNN in which he told journalist Don Lemon that he “would never sit across” from Trump, whom James has criticized in the past. The interview took place at James’ “I Promise” school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.

“Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” Trump tweeted in a swipe at a news network he often derides. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”

While many former and current professional athletes jumped to James’ defense, Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman noted that the first lady’s Be Best initiative for children promoted “the importance of responsible online behavior” as well as their well-being and healthy living.

“Her platform centers around visiting organizations, hospitals and schools, and she would be open to visiting the I Promise School in Akron,” Grisham said.

President Donald Trump attacked both Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James and CNN host Don Lemon on Twitter after watching James’ CNN interview, which originally aired Monday. He called Lemon “the dumbest man on television” and said he “made Lebron [sic] look smart, which isn’t easy to do.” He also weighed in on the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate, adding “I like Mike!”

Of course, the tweet comes on the heels of a monumental week for James. He openeda glorious public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio — that’s why he was being interviewed on CNN — and is already paying for over 1,000 students to attend the University of Akron. In the full interview, James says, “I believe our President is trying to divide us.”

James has been a vocal critic of Trump in the past, and though Trump has sung James’ praises many times, he took a completely different tone Friday.

Michael Jordan sided with LeBron James

Despite his previous tweets, Trump declared his preference for “Mike” — Michael Jordan — on Friday.

On Saturday, Jordan responded via a statement to NBC News’ Geoff Bennett and supported James:

NBA stars such as Karl-Anthony Towns fire back at Donald Trump

Several NBA players, however, fired back at President Trump in the wake of the tweet.

Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns urged President Trump to get off Twitter and “get stuff done for our country.”

Towns’ teammate Anthony Tolliver said he was done being quiet regarding Trump’s criticisms.

Stephen Curry backed James, too.

Utah Jazz star guard and noted good guy Donovan Mitchell thought Trump’s tweet was a sign of insecurity.

Wizards All Star Brad Beal kept it simple:

Hornets big man Frank Kaminsky weighed in:

Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson tweeted his affinity for Barack Obama.

And fellow Nets forward Jared Dudley said simply “He’s gotta go!”

Current free agent Sean Kilpatrick also tweeted:

Hillary Clinton joined the cadre of NBA players to tweet on James’ behalf.

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