Plenty of people have come out in support of LeBron James after Donald Trump sent out a tweet questioning his intelligence, from Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss to Michael Jordan. James’ new Lakers teammate Josh Hart can now be added to that list as well.
After a Kenner League game in Washington D.C., Hart was asked for his thoughts on Trump’s tweet about James, and he didn’t hold back (via The Undefeated):
”It’s just childish. That’s someone (James) who literally just opened a school in this past week helping kids from the inner city, kids who don’t have parents in their lives and that kind of thing. Someone who’s a role model obviously for young African Americans. So to see that, it’s childish and it’s a shame that that’s our president, but hopefully he’ll be better. But it’s childish.”
Hart isn’t wrong about the childishness of Trump going after James, but it also wasn’t an unexpected move after James called out Trump for “trying to divide” the country in an interview following the opening of his I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
But how huge of a deal James’ commitment to Akron is shouldn’t go lost in all this drama, and it was something Hart made clear he thinks is a huge deal when asked what the opening of the school meant to him.
”It means a lot. He’s (James) a role model on the court obviously, one of the best to ever do it. But off the court, what he’s doing by opening up a school and putting kids through college, he’s a role model, and he’s a better man than he is a basketball player and that’s saying a lot. He’s a heck of a person and someone we’re going to look up to.”
The young Lakers do seem like they genuinely do and will look up to James, and the value of that is huge for the team’s prospects both this year and going forward. And not just on the court, either.
Hart and the rest of the Lakers’ young core getting a chance to hang around and learn from a man who legitimately may be one of the best humans to ever play in the NBA is something that almost can’t help but have an impact on them. Kyle Kuzma has already been an outspoken voice for social justice and Hart is a burgeoning one as well, but them getting the chance to learn how to conduct themselves and what really matters from James could be a huge thing for the Los Angeles community as much as the Lakers themselves.
It’s sad that it’s taking Trump’s angry toilet tweets to bring the value of the social consciousness that LeBron is going to imbue the Lakers with to light, but at least the team is making the best of a sad and pathetic situation.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.