Aug 4 (Reuters) - NBA legend Michael Jordan and U.S. athletes rallied to LeBron James' defense on Saturday after U.S. President Donald Trump questioned the star player's intelligence in a tweet.
"I support LJ. He’s doing an amazing job for his community,” Jordan, now owner of the National Basketball Association's Charlotte Hornets, told NBC News through a spokesperson.
The comment by Jordan and others came after Trump had tweeted:
"Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!"
Trump was referring to an interview CNN's Lemon did in the days after James, who now plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, and his foundation had opened a public school for some of the most disadvantaged children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
Michael Jordan through the years
Michael Jordan through the years
1990: A close up of Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls as he stands holding the ball during the game. Mandatory Credit: Ken Levine /Allsport
5 Jun 1991: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls moves on the court during game two of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 107-86. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JULY 25: Basketball stars Michael Jordan (L) and Earvin 'Magic' Johnson clown for the media 25 July during a press conference for the U.S. Olympic 'Dream Team.' The team is strongly favored to win the gold. (Photo credit should read KARL MATHIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Former professional US basketball player Michael Jordan delivers a press conference at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris on June 12, 2015 to present Palais 23, an event at the Palais de Tokyo from June 12 to 14 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Jordan Brand. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIK (Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 6: Retired Chicago Bulls basketball star Michael Jordan (L) holds his son Marcus 06 November 1993, as they watch the Bulls play the Miami Heat in their first home game of the season. Jordan received his 1992 World Championship ring before the game, which the Bulls lost 95-71. (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 7: American basketball star Michael Jordan takes batting practice 07 February 1994 with the Chicago White Sox in a bid to play with their baseball team. (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
A CANDID PORTRAIT OF CHICAGO WHITE SOX OUTFIELDER MICHAEL JORDAN IN THE DUGOUT DURING A WHITE SOX SPRING TRAINING GAME. MANDATORY CREDIT: JONATHAN DANIEL/ALLSPORT US
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Chicago Bulls basketball star Michael Jordan catches his breath early in the first quarter 19 March at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. Jordan is wearing a new number (45) with his old number (23) staying retired. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read JOHN RUTHROFF/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Basketball star Michael Jordan (C) of the Chicago Bulls (C) argues a foul call against him in the fourth quarter at the United Center in Chicago 24 March. Jordan was seven for 23 in his first game in Chicago since retiring 17 months ago. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 17: Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan goes up for two points during 17 April NBA game against the Miami Heat in Miami. The Bulls defeated the Heat, 98-93. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read DOUG COLLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Jan 1996: A portrait of Michael Jordan. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 22: Chicago Bull Michael Jordan dunks in two of his thirty-four points during his NBA game 22 February against the Atlanta Hawks in Atlanta, Ga. The Bulls beat the Hawks 96-91.AFP PHOTO Doug COLLIER (Photo credit should read DOUG COLLIER/AFP/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, UNITED STATES: Los Angeles Lakers Earvin 'Magic' Johnson (L) and Michael Jordan (R) of the Chicago Bulls laugh with a reporter 02 February during their post-game press conference at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. This was the second game after Johnson's return to the Lakers since he retired in November 1991 after contracting the virus that causes AIDS. The Bulls won 99-84. AFP PHOTO Tiziana SORGE (Photo credit should read TIZIANA SORGE/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 28: Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan looks over his shoulder while sitting out the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks 28 March at the United Center in Chicago. Jordan and the Bulls coasted to a 111-80 victory to extend their home court NBA-record streak to 42 wins. (Photo credit should read BRIAN BAHR/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan (L) of the Chicago Bulls slam dunks the ball during game four of the NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals against the New York Knicks 12 May. Willie Anderson (R) of the Knicks follows the play. AFP PHOT0/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan guard for the Chicago Bulls questions an official's call in the first half of the Bulls first pre-season game against the Milwaukee Bucks 15 October at the United Center, in Chicago . AFP PHOTO/Vincent LAFORET (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls (L) looks to make a basket as Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton (R) defends in the fourth quarter of the 18 March game at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Supersonics 89-87 in overtime. AFP Photo by Vincent LAFORET (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls talks to reporters 02 June during a press conference after his morning workout at the United Center in Chicago Illinois. Jordan hit the game-winning shot at the buzzer in game one of the NBA Finals 01 June to beat the Utah Jazz. AFP PHOTO/JEFF HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, UNITED STATES: Michael Jordan (L) and Scottie Pippen (R) of the Chicago Bulls talk during the final minutes of their game 22 May in the NBA Eastern Conference finals aainst the Miami Heat at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won the game 75-68 to lead the series 2-0. AFP PHOTO/VINCENT LAFORET (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP/Getty Images)
25 May 1998: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during an Eastern Conference Final game against the Indiana Pacers at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers defeated the Bulls 96-94.
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 7: Michael Jordan (L) of the Chicago Bulls celebrates on the bench with teammates Ron Harper and Scottie Pippen 07 June at the end of game three of the NBA Finals at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The Bulls won the game 96-54 to lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. (Photo credit should read DANIEL LIPPITT/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 3: Forward Michael Jordan #23 of the Washington Wizards looks at the scoreboard during the NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers at MCI Center in Washington, D.C. on November 3, 2001. The Wizards won 90-76. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
405359 22: World Sports Academy member Michael Jordan presents an award at the Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony May 14, 2002 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by David Cannon/Laureus/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 16: A fan acknowledges Michael Jordan #23 of the Washington Wizards during the final NBA game of his career, played against the Philadelphia 76ers at First Union Center on March 30, 2003 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Sixers won 107-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, UNITED STATES: (FILES) -- A file photo taken 19 September 2004 shows US team supporter and former NBA superstar Michael Jordan smoking a cigar as he watches the play during the singles matches at the 35th Ryder Cup Matches at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Michigan. Jordan will be in Paris 18 October 2006 as part of a European tour to promote his clothing and shoe line. AFP PHOTO / Donald Miralle / Getty Images **FOR NEWSPAPER AND TELEVISION USE ONLY** (Photo credit should read DONALD MIRALLE/AFP/Getty Images)
Milan, ITALY: Former NBA Chicago Bulls basketball player Michael Jordan speaks to young basketball players as he is in Milan to promote a new clothing line, 24 October 2006. Michael Jordan has added his voice to the impending retirement of Michael Schumacher. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 02: Michael Jordan during the Pro-Am prior to the 2007 Wachovia Championship held at Quail Hollow Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 2, 2007. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Former US basketball star Michael Jordan poses for a picture at the official grand opening party for the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on November 20, 2008. Dubai is threw a multi-million-dollar extravaganza today to launch a luxury hotel on an artificial palm-shaped island, despite the bite from the global financial crisis. More than 2,000 world celebrities are due to attend the event which is set to also include a firework display seven times larger than the Olympic display in Beijing, according to the event organisers. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 22: Managing Partner Michael Jordan and Gerald Wallace #3 of the Charlotte Bobcats talk on the bench during the game against the Indiana Pacers at Time Warner Cable Arena on November 22, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Bobcats won 104-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 31: Former Laker great James Worthy (L) talks with former Bulls great and Charlotte Bobcats part owner Michael Jordan (R) on the bench during the game between Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Bobcats game at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 31, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 30: Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and recording artist Ne-Yo arrive at the 11th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational gala at the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter March 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for MJCI)
MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 28: Michael Jordan waits on the first tee during the Morning Foursome Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 28, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 22: Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, reacts to a call as he sits on the bench during their game against the Phoenix Suns at Time Warner Cable Arena on November 22, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
US former basketball player Michael Jordan flanked by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (R), leave after inaugurating a street basket court on June 14, 2015, in Paris. AFP PHOTO/ ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit should read ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/Getty Images)
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The president's "I like Mike!" comment apparently was Trump stating his opinion on the debate of whether six-time NBA champion Jordan or James, the four-time league most valuable player and three times champion, is the NBA's best all-time player.
Even the president's wife was supportive of James' work with children.
"It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialog about issues facing children today," Melania Trump said in a statement issued by her spokeswoman.
NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns added in a tweet: "So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown?"
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina Editing by Alistair Bell)