Speaking at the American Freedom Tour stop in Southaven, Mississippi on Saturday, Trump mocked transgender athletes, specifically former Penn Swimmer Lia Thomas, who became the first openly transgender woman to win an NCAA Division I title last month. While attempting to be humorful at the expense of others, Trump transitioned to basketball and created the bizarre hypothetical scenario of James becoming a woman.
“If I were a basketball coach, I know who I’d be going, I don’t want to get involved, but I’d have the greatest women’s basketball team of all time,” Trump said, echoing a bad movie plot to insinuate he’d be able to get male basketball players to transition.
“I can’t stand LeBron James, but I would say, ‘LeBron, would you – did you ever think about going woman? Cause if you did, I’d like to put you on my team.’ Can’t stand the guy, I don’t like him!” Trump continued. “But I’d like to have him on my basketball team. He would be the captain of my women’s basketball team, we wouldn’t lose. We wouldn’t lose too many games.”
Publicly, James hasn’t paid Trump any attention since the former president was voted out of office a year and a half ago. The two have had their quarrels, with James referring to Trump as the “so-called president of the United States” in 2017. James later stated his team wouldn’t visit Trump in the White House if they won a championship, a sentiment shared by many sports teams and players during his polarizing tenure in office.
But lately, it’s been a one-sided fight, with LeBron sticking to sports and the social initiatives that are important to him, while Trump continues to take unprovoked jabs at arguably the greatest basketball player ever.