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Trump unleashes Tweets against NBA owner Mark Cuban

The NBA had a bizarre weekend. Not only were the Sixers caught trying to hide Joel Embiid’s “very minor meniscal tear,” Knicks owner James Dolan also was peppered with “Free Charles Oakley” chants during last night’s game against the Spurs, days after throwing the fan favorite out of Madison Square Garden.

Then there is Mark Cuban.

The Pittsburgh native and owner of the Dallas Mavericks was blindsided on Sunday morning when President Trump unleashed a seemingly unprovoked attack from his Twitter account, saying Cuban wasn’t “smart enough” to run for president.

It’s far from the first time Trump has gone after Cuban, who was an ardent supporter of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Before becoming president, Trump called Cuban “dopey” and “physically very soft.”

But in the case of Sunday’s tweet, Cuban didn’t seem to say or do anything to elicit a response from the president, adding on Twitter he didn’t know what caused the sudden interest from Trump.

“Isn’t it better for all of us that he is tweeting rather than trying to govern?” Cuban said.

Later in the day, Cuban seemed to figure out why Trump decided to launch an attack on him out of the blue.

“Someone close to him told me it was a New York Post article saying I was a 2020 threat,” Cuban told the Huffington Post. “That’s all I know.”

Posted at 6:52 a.m., less than an hour before Trump launched his early-morning attack on Cuban, a story by Penn graduate Aaron Short went live on the Post’s website suggesting that the White House’s “biggest fear” is that Cuban would run against Trump in 2020.

“If you believe in the Trump revolution, you can believe a candidate like Mark Cuban could win an election,” one White House source told Short. “And Mark is the kind of guy who would drop half a billion dollars of his own money on the race.”

Trump is known to respond instantly after reading or seeing news that catches his interest. In a separate Sunday morning Tweet, Trump said that 72 percent of refugees admitted into the United States from Feb. 3 through 11 came from the seven Muslim-majority countries targeted in the president’s controversial travel ban.

As CNN’s Brian Stetler pointed out, the tweet was copied nearly word-for-word from a graphic shown on Fox News 30 minutes before Trump’s tweet.

Trump appears to be showing a lot of interest in his reelection bid. Not only has he already filed reelection paperwork and raised more than $7 million (as of Dec. 31), the former reality-TV star also has already trademarked his 2020 campaign slogan: “Keep America Great.”

On Sunday, Cuban shared an email exchange he had with Trump last May, when he noted, “Everyone is afraid of you. I like to challenge you. And like you said, I may go after that job some day and it could be against you.”

First Published February 13, 2017 11:02 AM