Donald Trump Ted Cruz Dennis Rodman Composite
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Donald Trump Ted Cruz Dennis Rodman Composite

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The former NBA star defends Donald Trump and takes a shot at Ted Cruz

At the GOP debate in Houston, Cruz mocked Trump's run as a reality television host

(CNN) —  

Donald Trump may have “fired” Dennis Rodman from “Celebrity Apprentice,” but the former NBA star isn’t holding any grudges.

In a tweet Friday morning, Rodman took a shot at Ted Cruz, who on Thursday night at the GOP debate in Houston mocked Trump’s run as a reality television host.

“Yes @tedcruz; @realdonaldtrump did fire me on Celebrity Apprentice,” Rodman wrote. “But he’s about to fire your ass too! #MakeAmericaGreatAgain”

Rodman was actually a contestant on the show two times, first in 2009 – he was fired then, too – and again for “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” four years later. The second stint ended when Rodman’s “team” misspelled Melania Trump’s name as “Milania” in their presentation of a branded skincare line.

“I cannot believe they spelled my name wrong,” said Melania, who was on hand for the pitch. “It’s all over the place, and nobody even noticed? Amazing.”

Still, Trump took kindly to Rodman, and the NBA hall-of-famer endorsed his candidacy over the summer.

Calling Trump “a great friend for many years,” Rodman tweeted in late July, “We don’t need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016.”

Meanwhile, Trump and Cruz have been exchanging barbs for weeks as the GOP field narrows and time runs down on this long fight for the party’s presidential nomination.

When the Texas senator jabbed Trump during the debate, he made Rodman part of the punchline.

“In 2013, when I was leading the fight against the ‘Gang of 8’ amnesty bill, where was Donald?” Cruz asked. “He was firing Dennis Rodman on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’”

Cruz also accused Trump – in an attack he reprised on Friday afternoon – of helping to finance the failed immigration reform legislation.

“If you look at the eight members of the ‘Gang of Eight,’ Donald gave over $50,000 to three Democrats and two Republicans,” Cruz said on the debate stage. “And when you’re funding open border politicians, you shouldn’t be surprised when they fight for open borders.”