One of LeBron James’s biggest rivals has come to his defense after President Trump questioned the Los Angeles Lakers star’s intelligence in a tweet last week.

“Frustration. That rhetoric is all based in some long-standing racism in terms of black men with a voice in power,” Curry said about Trump’s tweet (via the Mercury News). “Unfortunately, that’s being revealed more and more as the days go on.”

After James’s “I Promise” school, a collaboration between Akron’s public schools and James’s foundation, opened last week, James spoke of Trump in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon and said the president was using sports “to divide us.” Asked what he would say if he sat down with the president, James replied that he “would never sit across from him. I’d sit across from Barack [Obama], though.”

To that Trump 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.” And he added a swipe at the who’s greater, LeBron or Michael Jordan, debate with “I like Mike!”

Curry and James have stuck up for one another and spoken out about Trump over the years. Last year, James called the president “a bum” when Trump “uninvited” Curry and the Warriors to the White House if they were to win the NBA championship. Curry also bluntly disagreed when the head of Under Armour, the company that sponsors him, called Trump a business “asset” in the winter of 2017. “I agree with that description,” Curry said, “if you remove the ‘et.’ ”

In the era of Trump, there’s a rebooted awareness and activism among athletes, whether it’s during the national anthem or speaking up, and Curry described NBA players’ actions as “amazing to see.”

“Every NBA player is trying to find a way to impact, whether it’s the city they play in or where they’re from, communities at large, at-risk youth, whatever the case is. It’s very visible what guys are doing and sometimes there’s stuff that happens behind the scenes that nobody knows about,” he said at the Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic in Hayward, Calif. “I think it’s important to understand that LeBron’s was a huge gesture and a huge accomplishment in terms of opening up a public school that can serve his community. I could go down the list of guys that are doing something in their own ways or [following] their own passions. . . .

“Basketball has been great for all of us, provided a way for us to provide for our families and create legacies in that sense, and I think we all feel a responsibility to do our part to give back in any way that we can.”

Last week, Curry and his wife opened the Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Foundation Education Lab at Bushrod Recreation Center in Oakland, where he also renovated a gym last winter.

“It’s all about staying focused on the work that everybody is doing,” Curry said. “Speaking for people who can’t speak for themselves and not getting caught up in people trying to divide us.”

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