Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has officially backed Joe Biden for President after previously stumping for Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 campaign.
In a clip that will air Wednesday on Vice, James told Atlantic columnist Jemele Hill and her co-host, Cari Champion, that he will once again be campaigning for the Democrats’ ticket.
‘We are at a time where we need change,’ James said in the clip, which appears to have been recorded before the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in the first-round of the NBA playoffs on Tuesday night.
‘In order for change, it’s all about leadership,’ James said, adding ‘leadership starts at the top.’
Be sure to check out @TMZ who have a sneak peek of @KingJames telling @VICETV ‘s @CariChampion & @jemelehill he will be campaigning for Joe Biden & Kamala Harris.#StickToSports premieres tonight at 10 PM ET/PT.https://t.co/PNn3OaFaKZ
The 52-19 Lakers had the Western Conference’s best record in the pandemic-shortened season, but now trail the 35-39 Blazers, 1-0, inside the NBA’s bubble at Disney World outside Orlando.
James had recently congratulated California senator Kamala Harris on receiving Biden’s vice presidential nomination.
‘Congrats and well deserved Sen. Kamala Harris!!’ James wrote on Twitter. ‘Love to see and support it! Appreciate you JB.’
James, along with most NBA players, has been kneeling in protest of racism during the national anthem since the season restarted in Orlando in late July. The league has also emblazoned ‘Black Lives Matter’ on the courts at Disney World in response to the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Before Tuesday’s loss, James and his Lakers teammates wore parody MAGA hats, demanding justice for Taylor.
Instead of ‘Great Again’, which was crossed out, the hat read ‘Make America Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.’
President Donald Trump – an outspoken critic of James – has condemned athletes protesting during The Star-Spangled Banner.
‘People are not happy that players are not standing for our National Anthem!’ Trump wrote in one tweet.
James and Trump have been at odds for years.
While still playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017, James rushed to the defense of his Golden State Warriors rival Stephen Curry, who had been disinvited from the NBA champions’ traditional White House visit by Trump after hesitating to say he’d accept the invitation.
‘Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team,’ Trump tweeted in September of 2017. ‘Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!’
James responded: ‘U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!’