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LeBron James reveals what bothers him most about Trump’s insults ’is that he has time to even do that'

Mythili Sampathkumar

NBA star LeBron James said has hit out at Donald Trump for having the time to insult him on Twitter

"[It] doesn't bother me at all. What bothers me is that he has time to even do that," the former Cleveland Cavaliers champion and new addition to the Los Angeles Lakers said.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if it irked him when the leader of the country said that about him - while voicing his preference for NBA legend Michael Jordan - James said: "No, because I'm not. That's like somebody saying I can't play ball".

James was responding to the US president claiming James was dumb in a 3 August tweet, which read: "Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, [CNN anchor] Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!"

"He has the most powerful job in the world. Like, you really got this much time that you can comment on me?" James said.

Even First Lady Melania Trump appeared to come to James' defence after her husband's insult, which was tweeted just after the athlete and Hollywood producer had opened a new public school in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, which offers free university tuition to graduating students.

At the time she said, through her spokesperson Stephanie Grisham: “It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation. Just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.”

This was not the first time James' social activism has drawn the ire of the president and his supporters.

When he played for the Miami Heat, he and teammates donned hoodies in a powerful visual rebuke of Florida's "stand your ground" law which resulted in George Zimmerman to be found not guilty of the 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

Trayvon had been wearing a hooded sweatshirt after buying some candy at the corner store when he was killed.

James has only tweeted at the president once, when Mr Trump uninvited the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors to visit the White House as is customary for winning teams to do.

It was part of the president's continued tirade against professional athletes, particularly in the NFL, kneeling during the singing of the national anthem as a protest against police-involved shooting deaths of young black men and children.

He wrote: "U bum".

Afterwards, at a press conference, he said: "I said what I said, adding he would not let one person "ever use sport as platform to divide us."

"The most powerful position in the world has the opportunity to...put the youth at ease" and "say it's ok for me to walk down the street and not be judged for the colour of my skin. And...he doesn't even care," Mr James had said at the time.

He is set to star in the upcoming sequel Space Jam 2 and has a host of production projects in the works for films featuring African-American stars.