San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich applauded Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James for using his platform to inspire children and speak out against FOX News' Lauren Ingraham's criticism saying he should just "shut up and dribble", according to ESPN's Michael C. Wright.
Here's what Popovich had to tell reporters before Sunday's game between the Spurs and Cavaliers:
"I don't pick and choose what LeBron should talk about any more than any talking head should try to pick and choose what he talks about," Popovich said. "To me, when I heard about that, it was like an unbelievable show of arrogance for a talking head to try to tell someone else if they can speak, what they can speak about, when and where to do it. It's just ludicrous. But to not have a feel for who this guy is."
"Think about when he came into the public view. How young was he? And to this day he hasn't missed a step. He hasn't fallen off the ledge. He's been a brilliant example for millions of kids, especially of kids of lesser opportunity who haven't had the same advantages of others. And they see in this guy somebody who's consistently exhibited excellence in the workplace. It gives them a voice, let's them know that you can speak about anything. There really is a first amendment, and I can have opinions as a coach, as a plumber, as an astrophysicist, as a lowly reporter. I can have whatever opinions I want.
"And that's what's amazing about this. When you look at this guy, how many tens of millions of dollars he's given? Tens of millions of kids that see him, that are inspired by him. It's kind of like the Black Panther movie. How cool is that for kids to see that and have that superhero? Well, now, LeBron has been that for a long time. And for somebody to be totally numb to that and attack him in such a childish way, really speaks more volumes about that individual than it does Lebron. He's very, very special. We should all be very proud that we have somebody like that who's willing to speak about a variety of topics, and you've listened to them all."
Watch Popovich's comments below:
James and Popovich have been two of the most outspoken figures in the NBA in regards to President Trump.