Unless you spent the weekend off-the-grid vacationing in the Caribbean, you're probably keenly aware that Donald Trump and LeBron James are in the news. Not separately — that wouldn't be weird at all. They're currently in the news together, and for exactly the reason you'd expect: a total shit-show started by our giant orange commander in chief.
For anyone not up to speed, here is a Trump tweet entirely free of commentary:
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
The interview in question aired Friday night on CNN from James' new I Promise school in Akron, Ohio, that will soon be home to 240 at-risk third- and fourth-graders. The kids will pay nothing, get free bikes, food, transportation,
The I Promise project is one of the coolest community projects anyone has done anywhere and has been universally lauded. This is all-time good stuff from James. It's not just among the best projects funded by an athlete, it's one of the greatest efforts to halt poverty and the cycle of incarceration mounted by anyone in recent years. James will likely save thousands of kids currently in the same situation he was as a child, but without the otherworldly basketball
From free uniforms and transportation to college tuition guaranteed for all graduates. LeBron James takes CNN's Don Lemon on an exclusive tour of his new 'I Promise' school https://t.co/roRxI7qlZl pic.twitter.com/IDS5WZXdgn— CNN (@CNN) August 4, 2018
But, of course, that wasn't the part of the interview that prompted Trump to basically call James stupid and proclaim Michael Jordan the GOAT. Nope. It was LeBron's comments about Trump's divisiveness that got Trump's attention. In Trump's world, if you come at the king, you're destined for some Twitter yelling.
So it's safe to say Trump won't be rooting for James' Los Angeles Lakers next season. But there was a time when Trump was a huge LeBron fan and used his tweets to tell the world so. Specifically, Trump loved LBJ when he played for the Miami Heat.
Back then, Trump made it known he was pulling for the Heat, and particularly for James. Much of his love for the team seems to stem from his affection for Heat owner Micky Arison, but Trump also made it clear he loved him some LeBron — both the player and the person.
As the saying goes: There's a tweet for everything. Here are a few from a time when Trump and James were
This one came after Game 3 of the 2012 NBA Finals. The win put the Heat up 2-1 in a series they would eventually take, giving them their second-ever NBA title.
Here is Trump congratulating the Miami Heat on that title, because he's a huge Heat fan, apparently.
Back in May of 2013, in the book of Trump, James was a swell dude and a super player. Still no problems on the horizon here!
Trump, still a Heat fan, apparently was jazzed about the Heat's 99-76 blowout win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Miami Heat looked great tonight - congratulations from all of your friends at your favorite place in Miami, Trump National Doral.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2013
Here, in true Trump fashion, he made sure to remind people of someone else's failures. Trump tweeted during Game 7 of the Heat-Spurs 2013 NBA Finals about Ray Allen's legendary shot in Game 6 that saved the Heat's season and kept them alive so they could win it all again.
After one of the great chokes in the history of sports, it will be hard for the Spurs to beat the Heat - but who knows. Good game on now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2013
A month later, after the Heat had clinched its back-to-back title run with a thrilling seven-game series win over the San Antonio Spurs, Trump took time to personally congratulate James on winning ESPN's award for Athlete of the Year, and again, for just being an overall good person.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
So there you have it: Once upon a time, Donald Trump was a huge fan of James and the Miami Heat. While Trump hasn't mentioned the Heat on his Twitter feed since 2014, that doesn't make him much different from a lot of "Heat fans" who were shaking their pom-poms at the time for the greatest show in sports. Like Trump, those "fans" rarely worry themselves with the happenings of the Heat these days. They've moved on.
What does make Trump different, though, is his sniping. Apparently James — an underprivileged kid from Akron who turned no college education into a net worth that will soon top $1 billion — became unintelligent and no longer a "great guy" when he started disagreeing with some of the ways Trump goes about his business. It's one thing to disagree with someone, but it's unclear why Trump seems to believe James isn't "smart."
Oh, wait, I know. There is a tweet for that too.