LeBron James hinted that he may run for President of the United States in the 2020 election. The NBA superstar recently sat down for an interview with CNN host Don Lemon, where he discussed the conditions in which he could consider running against current President Donald Trump.
When Lemon asked whether he would ever consider running for political office, James initially said “I don’t think so” and then “I don’t know.” But when Lemon gave the Los Angeles Laker a hypothetical scenario in which Trump had no viable competition and would be guaranteed to win reelection if he did not run, James admitted that he might.
“Well in that case I may,” James said. “Yeah, if they have no one. I mean, I believe there are some people out there, I hope. Let’s see. Let’s see first.” Watch the full interview below.
James previously told GQ that the level of committment needed to be President is daunting. “From the outside looking in, it seems like the president always has to be there—gotta be there. You really don’t have much ‘me time.’ I enjoy my ‘me time.'” he said. “The positive that I see from being the president… Well, not with the president we have right now, because there’s no positive with him, but the positive that I’ve seen is being able to inspire.
“Your word has command to it,” he continued. “If you’re speaking with a knowledgeable, caring, loving, passionate voice, then you can give the people of America and all over the world hope.”
During the CNN interview, James accused Trump of intentionally being divisive, and exacerbating the country’s racial issues. “Our president is using sport to divide us, and that’s something I can’t relate to because I know that sport was the first time I ever was around someone white,” he explained. “And I got an opportunity to see them and learn about them and they got an opportunity to learn about me and we became very good friends.”
“No matter how big you can become, no matter how successful you are, no matter what you do in the community or in your profession, being African-American in America is tough, and they always going to let you know that you are the ‘N-word’ — no matter who you are,” he added. “When you’re an African-American kid, male or female, you’re always going to be against obstacles. You can allow it to affect you, or you can allow it to empower you and rise above it.”
Things between James and Trump reached a tipping point on Friday night, when the President insulted him and interviewer Don Lemon on Twitter. “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon,” he wrote. “He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”
Many have supported James’ presidential aspirations. “When LeBron James retires from the NBA, I do not want to see him being a General Manager, Coach, or President of any team in the NBA,” wrote one user. “He needs to run for President of the United States. Seriously.”
Another wrote: “As much as I’d hate to see @KingJames career shortened, please run for President LeBron! I know he’s too young right now. I can guarantee LeBron would do a better job.” Check out additional reactions below.