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LeBron vs. Trump: a one-sided battle

James isn’t afraid of Trump, but the president seems afraid of the King

Donald Trump is afraid of LeBron James.

Trump fancies himself a New York City tough guy who doesn’t back down from anyone. He mocks the disabled at campaign rallies. He said John McCain wasn’t a real war hero because he was captured. He pushed aside Dusko Markovic, the prime minister of Montenegro, at a NATO meeting in Brussels.

Trump has looked for conflict where it is not, created it where it does not exist. No target is too small, petty or unpresidential.

Trump is that guy, with one notable exception. The president don’t want it with the King.

Trump disinvited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to the White House on Monday night, the latest proof that he will let no perceived slight go untweeted. Sending four tweets over two days, he took aim at Eagles players and one of his favorite targets, the NFL.

James, speaking with reporters in Cleveland covering the NBA Finals, said he was “not surprised.”

“I know no matter who wins this series no one wants the invite,” James said Tuesday. “It won’t be Golden State or Cleveland going.”

The president’s response … (crickets)

This isn’t the first time Trump has gone silent when confronted by King James. Onstage at his foundation’s event last August, James referred to Trump as the “so-called president of the United States.”

Trump’s response … (crickets)

James even took it to Trump’s medium of choice, Twitter.

(crickets)

When Trump disinvited Steph Curry and the champion Warriors to the White House last September, James interjected.

(crickets)

Earlier this year, in a video from Uninterrupted, James gave Trump some more, including: “The No. 1 job in America, the appointed person, is someone who doesn’t understand the people. And really don’t give a f— about the people.”

And again … (crickets)

And you thought Drake vs. Pusha T was one-sided. EGHCK!

So why doesn’t Trump clap back? Maybe he’s a James fan. Maybe he fears upsetting voters in the battleground state of Ohio. Or maybe he is a bully who sees a fight he can’t win. We know how bullies work. They want to exercise power and control. They want to distract from their own issues. They want to expose the weaknesses of others in order to present themselves as superior. But that don’t really work with LeBron James.

Trump has built an empire using a million-dollar loan from his father. James has built an empire from nothing. Trump has just over 60 million followers (Twitter and Instagram combined). James has just under 80 million. Trump, a guy obsessed with, shall we say, size — hands, crowds, buttons — is dwarfed by James.

“LeBron has over 41 million followers on Twitter alone,” said National Basketball Players Association president Michele Roberts. “He is probably one of the most admired and well-known human beings on the planet. To the extent there are occasions where a response is warranted to Trump, I can think of few persons better positioned than LeBron to deliver those messages — lots of folks will hear him.”

“Can’t speak for Trump on why he never engages Bron directly. Some bears are just best not poked.”

Maybe that’s why when Trump did tweet about James he only had kind things to say.

Here is another one from the Trump archives.

It may not be fresh, but it sure feels timely.

Domonique Foxworth is a writer at The Undefeated. He is a recovering pro athlete and superficial intellectual.