“The Black Mamba” struck Saturday away from the NBA court. This time on Twitter and against President Donald Trump.
Retired five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, who famously nicknamed himself after a black snake, used Trump’s signature phrase “Make America Great Again” against him.
“A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly ‘Make America Great Again,’” the retired Los Angeles Lakers superstar, destined to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, tweeted.
Initially, the tweet had a typo that Bryant fixed, and a Twitter user pointed out Bryant’s renowned work ethic. That prompted Bryant to tweet back “#mambamentality.”
The comment followed a whirlwind 24 hours for Trump, the NBA and some of its biggest stars. Before Bryant, Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said he would not visit the White House if the rest of his team did, which prompted Trump to tweet Saturday he rescinded the invitation.
Trump’s disinvite of Curry then resulted in Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James to clap back and call the president a “bum” and state visiting the White House was an honor before the Republican billionaire moved in. Thus far, the tweet has garnered more than 600,000 likes.
Other NBA stars like Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul also took to Twitter in Curry’s defense to tell Trump he should be focused on other matters while serving as president rather than players refusing to stand for the national anthem or visiting the White House.
Paul also touched on Trump calling NFL players a “son of bitch” for not standing for the anthem, doubting Trump would insult them to “their face.”
Championship teams from professional sports leagues, as well as college teams, traditionally visit Washington and meet with the president after claiming their titles. Most recently, the NFL’s New England Patriots went in April but several players skipped the event, with some citing Trump’s politics. Quarterback Tom Brady did not attend but cited “family matters.”
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