Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert told CNBC on Friday he received “the most vile, disgusting, racist” voicemails after LeBron James called President Donald Trump “a bum” on Twitter a week ago.

In an interview on the network’s Squawk Box, Gilbert described the voicemails as “some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever heard people say. You could hear it in their voice.”

James reacted after Trump tweeted that the NBA champion Golden State Warriors weren’t welcome for a White House visit after star Stephen Curry balked at the idea during the team’s media day on Sept. 22. That same weekend, Trump also heavily criticized NFL players and owners on Twitter for their national anthem protests, a barrage he’s continued since.

“U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going!,” James tweeted on Sept. 23. “So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!”

Gilbert told CNBC that he was most disturbed by the off-topic comments he received in the voicemails.

“It wasn’t even about the issue. That’s what really got me,” Gilbert said in the interview. “They went to who they really are, some of them. There’s an element of racism in this country that I didn’t realize existed.”

Admiring James for his willingness to speak out on social issues, Gilbert said he didn’t tell James about the vile reaction.

“Now he’s going to know,” Gilbert said.

James kept up his attack on Trump during Cavs media Monday, telling those who voted for Trump, “You may have made a mistake and that’s OK,” even as Trump carried Ohio. James said he didn’t regret referring to Trump as a bum and would have deleted the tweet if he had.

“I will lend my voice, I will lend my passion, I will lend my money, I will lend my resources to my youth and my inner city and outside of my inner city to let these kids know that there is hope,” James said Monday. “There is greater walks of life. And not one individual, no matter if it’s the president of the United States or if it’s someone in your household, can stop your dreams from becoming a reality.

“My job is and my calling is much bigger than that guy. I don’t even like saying his name.”

Rocky past

Gilbert and James have patched up a complicated relationship. Gilbert infamously wrote a letter to Cleveland fans criticizing James for leaving as a free agent in 2010. The owner was later fined $100,000 after he accused James of quitting in the playoffs during an interview with the Associated Press.

Gilbert’s ties to Trump would seem to create another problem. Gilbert, however, said in a prepared statement last week that he supports both political parties. Gilbert’s Quicken Loans mortgage lending company donated $750,000 to the president’s inauguration party.

“Our interests are in the policies at the federal level, and not the politics surrounding the elections,” he said. “We have often supported both political parties in the same election so that we have the ability to impact positive change, regardless of who occupies the offices.

“Our focus with any office-holder or politician is about the communication of the still substantial needs of our former rust-belt cities that are now finally beginning the road to recovery and growth that other parts of America have been experiencing for a long period of time.”

Marla Ridenour can be reached at mridenour@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Cavs blog at www.ohio.com/cavs. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MRidenourABJ. The Associated Press contributed to this report.