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The president took to Twitter late Friday to criticize CNN's Don Lemon and James - a recent addition to the Los Angeles Lakers roster - following an interview.

"Sports has never been something that divides people", James said during the interview. "It's always been something that brings someone together", he said.

The president implied that he preferred basketball star Michael Jordan, perhaps a reference to the debate over whether Jordan or James were the better player.

Earlier this week, the new Lakers player and the most famous active National Basketball Association star had said in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon that the USA leader was using "sports to kinda divide us".

"He's doing an awesome job for his community", Jordan, now owner of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets, told NBC News through a spokesperson. The I Promise School opened its doors Monday in Akron, Ohio ― LeBron's hometown ― and has won praise from advocates for public education like Diane Ravitch.

Billie Jean King tweeted her support for LeBron James Sunday morning.

CNN, which Trump has repeatedly said is a purveyor of "fake news", then mocked the president and first lady about their television viewing habits and even slighted Melania's #BeBest platform.

In another possibly dig at the President, spokesperson Grisham noted that Melania's Be Best initiative promoted responsible online behaviour.

King isn't the only athlete who has shown support for James.

CNN's Lemon and Don Rather have since responded to the inflammatory remarks by Trump, Rather calling the president a disgrace and Lemon questioning who the "real dummy" is.

His insistence that he doesn't watch CNN is frequently contradicted by his complaints about the network. Ben Simmons said James is "a smart dude (and one of the most thoughtful athletes we have).You're a constant embarrassment".

For all the good LeBron James did this week with the opening of the I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, for at-risk students, he's simultaneously embroiled in a bit of controversy. "A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?" he tweeted.

"There's a lot of insults the president could have hurled at LeBron and Don Lemon, but it says something that the president openly questioned their intelligence".

At the time, James came to Curry's defence.