LeBron James pumps up Goodyear after Trump attacks company

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LeBron James

FILE – In this Feb. 27, 2020 file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James appears during an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco. Though the coronavirus pandemic has upended graduation season, James is putting together an all-star event to honor and celebrate the Class of 2020. The one-hour special, “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” will air simultaneously on NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox on May 16 at 8 p.m. EDT. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Akron’s best-known native responded to President Donald Trump’s attack on his Ohio hometown’s iconic company, offering a shout-out of solidarity with the city, company and workers.

“Not only has Goodyear been great for my city, for the history of my city, but for the country,” LeBron James told reporters in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, where the NBA is playing during the pandemic. “Unbelievable brand and unbelievable history. So, we stand strong, we always unite, especially my city.”

James, who led the Cleveland Cavaliers to their only NBA title during his second stint with the team, has been a steadfast supporter of community improvement projects in Akron. He jumped directly into the NBA from his state-champion St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School team in Akron.

Now with the Los Angeles Lakers, James commented Thursday night, a day after Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., which employs more than 3,000 people. Trump inaccurately said the company had “announced a ban” on “Make America Great Again” caps. Leaders of the city of fewer than 200,000 people are worried that a boycott would worsen the struggling economy

“We’ve always felt like we’ve been counted out, being a small city,” James said. “And that’s what rallies us even more. It makes us even stronger.”

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