- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2020

As part of President Trump’s final push in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, Trump decided to again bring up the NBA — and his distaste for it.

At an appearance in Avoca, Pennsylvania, Trump brought up television ratings, claiming that thanks to him, news networks were enjoying the “highest ratings in the history of television.”

“How about basketball? How about LeBron?” Trump transitioned. “I felt badly for LeBron, very badly. Down 71 percent and that’s with the championship. I didn’t watch one shot. I get bored. Back, forth, back, forth. You know why? When they don’t respect our country, when they don’t respect our flag, nobody wants to watch.”

According to Nielsen data, the NBA averaged 7.5 million viewers for the six-game series, which was a 51% decline from the NBA Finals last season.

Trump then continued to speak of ratings to the assembled crowd in Avoca, saying: “The NFL is way down. You got to stand for our flag. You got to really be great to our flag and to our anthem, and if you don’t do that, we’re not watching.”

That’s when Trump paused, listening as a chant of “LeBron James Sucks” broke out among the crowd.

“What a crowd!” Trump said. “What a crowd!”

James led the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship over the Miami Heat last month, his sixth NBA title during his 17 seasons. The 16-time All-Star is one of the most distinguished players in the sport’s history, and he hasn’t been shy to criticize Trump.

In 2017, James called Trump a “bum” on Twitter after the president uninvited the Golden State Warriors from a White House visit, a move prompted by Warriors star Stephen Curry declaring that he would not attend.

James also is helping to lead the “More Than a Vote” organization, focused on fighting voter suppression and encouraging voter registration.

And on Monday night, while James didn’t directly respond to the chants at Trump’s rally, James posted an Instagram message endorsing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris.

“One more day. Please 🗳!! We need EVERYTHING to change and it all starts tomorrow. #BidenHarris #MoreThanaVote” his caption read.

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