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Political issues at center of NBA's Media Day

Rockets Head Coach Mike D'Antoni (left), President Donald Trump (center), Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right)
Rockets Head Coach Mike D'Antoni (left), President Donald Trump (center), Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right) (Getty Images)

HOUSTON – Politics is already the talk of NBA media day.

After a weekend where President Donald Trump rescinded the Golden State Warriors' invitation to the White House and Cleveland star LeBron James responded by calling the president a "bum," it was clear that Monday's season-opening media sessions for 28 teams were quite possibly going to be as much about politics as basketball.

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni backed the players, saying he would be behind them "1,000 percent." D'Antoni also admitted that he thought the country was not in a good state right now and he didn't see a need to politicize sports.

D'Antoni said he had not spoken to any Rockets players about the situation.

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores released a statement early Monday that did not specifically mention Trump, but says, "America's most treasured values include equality and diversity, and the right to effect change through peaceful expression and thoughtful debate." Gores also says he will support the Pistons players and their right to thoughtfully raise awareness to various causes.

 

 

On Sunday night, Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said Trump's "recent comments are deeply disappointing, because our focus should be on fostering a culture of sensitivity and inclusion."

The most retweeted post ever sent by James before this weekend was one in 2013 in response to the incessant who's-better debate about him and Michael Jordan.

"I'm not MJ, I'm LJ," he wrote. It was retweeted nearly 112,000 times.

Then LJ took on POTUS, calling Trump a "bum." James' Twitter account exploded from there, the 640,000-and-counting retweets making it one of the top 15 shared posts ever.

Carmelo Anthony will formally become part of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Kyrie Irving's first season in Boston will truly begin and Dwyane Wade is about to become a free agent after reaching a buyout with the Chicago Bulls.

But those story lines, and probably all others, will almost certainly take a back seat to athletes reacting to politics.

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