A history of Donald Trump’s hot sports takes

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LeBron James and his charity, “The LeBron James Family Foundation,” partnered with Akron Public Schools to open the I PROMISE school for at-risk youths.
USA TODAY

It was only a matter of time before Donald Trump weighed in on perhaps the greatest debate in the history of sports: Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James.

Trump insulted James in a tweet Friday night, ending his message: “I like Mike!”

While Trump had complimented James on Twitter in the past, he also had expressed his affinity for Jordan

Everyone knows the president’s Twitter feed has long been a hodgepodge, but Trump often uses the platform to give his opinions on the hot-button issues trending in sports.

Here’s a look back at a few of Trump’s stronger takes through the years:

A-Rod needed steroids to be good

The early 2010s were not kind to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was given a long-term suspension for his alleged use of performance enhancing drugs. Trump had some thoughts on Rodriguez’s career:

VERDICT: WRONG BUT YEAH A-ROD WAS INDEED DISGRACED: Some of Rodriguez’s best seasons came in his early 20s, before his alleged PED usage. There’s a conversation to be had about Rodriguez’s legacy, but it’s outlandish to say that “only drugs that made him great.”

Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame

Trump really seemed willing to die on this hill. Rose’s name has appeared in 18 Trump tweets, all calling for his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball’s all-time hit leader was banned from baseball in 1989 amid accusations that he gambled on the game:

VERDICT: CORRECT – It’s been decades now and one of the best hitters in the history of the game belongs in Cooperstown.

The Strasburg Shutdown

In 2012, the Washington Nationals decided not to use pitcher Stephen Strasburg in the postseason a year after he underwent Tommy John surgery. Washington lost in the first round of the playoffs, and Trump was not a fan of the club’s strategy:

VERDICT: TBD BUT PROBABLY CORRECT – Despite the Nationals’ conservative approach in 2012, Strasburg has struggled with injuries throughout his career. He signed long-term extension with the Nationals in 2016 but Washington has lost in the first round on three more occasions since 2012. That first trip to the postseason may have been their best chance.

‘Elite QB’

Back when the debate about whether or not NFL quarterbacks were “elite” was a real (albeit, stupid) conversation and not a caricature of itself, Trump gave his definitive opinion on the New York Giants’ Eli Manning:

VERDICT: SUBJECTIVE – Peyton’s little brother was riding high coming off his second Super Bowl title, but he failed to lead his team to the postseason for the next four seasons. Manning is probably a Hall of Famer, but has been maddeningly inconsistent.

World Series pitching

Heading into Game 7 of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals, the San Francisco Giants opted to start veteran Tim Hudson rather than ace Madison Bumgarner on short rest. Bumgarner had been dominant all postseason and Trump thought he should have started the game:

VERDICT: CORRECT – Hudson lasted just 1⅔ innings in the winner-take-all game, giving up two runs before being pulled for Jeremy Affeldt. Bumgarner entered the game in the fifth inning, tossed five scoreless innings and was credited with the save. He was named MVP of the World Series.

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