Donald Trump and LeBron James haven’t been the best of friends due to their opposing viewpoints on protesting, and that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.
Trump joined Fox and Friends for a phone interview Wednesday morning, when he called NBA players’ kneeling for the anthem “disgraceful.”
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“It’s not acceptable to me,” Trump said. “When I see them kneeling, I just turn off the game, and let me tell you this ... plenty of other people out there, too.”
James responded Wednesday night by saying the NBA won’t miss Trump watching games.
“I really don’t think the basketball community are sad about losing his viewership, him viewing the game,” James said. “And that’s all I got to say.”
James attempted to cut his response short to avoid getting in a back-and-forth with Trump. He then discussed the importance of voting in November to create change before circling back to the president.
“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.”
Despite protesting athletes saying that kneeling has nothing to do with disrespecting the flag, Trump won’t stand for it. He has tweeted several times and made remarks against kneeling.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers was also asked about Trump’s comments and had a similar response as James.
“We lost one guy,” Rivers said. “I mean so what, I don’t even care.”
It’s not just NBA players who are kneeling. Athletes in the WNBA, MLB, NHL and other leagues have also kneeled to peacefully protest social injustice and racial inequality. The difference between Trump’s thoughts on kneeling and athlete’s intentions behind the protest is unlikely to change as long as players use their platform.
“I will always stand for our country and our flag,” Trump said.
Tigers Woods is back and ready to go for the PGA Championship. The first major of the year is underway and Woods’ scheduled tee time was 11:30 a.m.
Woods has used the downtime to recover and prepare himself for the majors. He has won 15 majors in his career, which is second all-time to Jack Nicklaus’ 18.
“This is what I’ve been gearing up for,” Woods said to ESPN. “We’ve got a lot of big events starting from here, so looking forward to it. This is going to be a fun test for all of us.”
Woods is in a star-studded group that includes Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. The three have combined for 20 major championships and 113 PGA Tour wins.
The first few hours of the PGA Championship can be watched on ESPN plus. The event will move to ESPN at 4 p.m.
For the first time in three years, Kevin Durant won’t appear in the NBA Finals. His experience over the last three seasons have shown him what it takes to get to the NBA Finals, and he believes the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers have what it takes.
“If I had to choose -- and I hate doing that [expletive] because you never know what could happen, you seen that with us last year -- but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Clippers and Bucks for the championship,” Durant said on the “Play For Keeps” podcast. “And I’ll go with the Clippers.”
Picking an NBA champion can be tricky. Durant’s hesitancy comes from experience last season, where the Warriors lost himself, Klay Thompson and essentially had DeMarcus Cousins playing on “one leg,” as Cousins described it.
Given health, the Bucks and Clippers are two good picks. One team features a frontrunner for MVP, and the other features last season’s NBA Finals MVP. Not to mention, it would be a good storyline with Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks seeking revenge after the Kawhi Leonard-led Raptors defeated them in the Eastern Conference finals.