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21 Feb, 2020 15:17

'Bro, you need to run for President!' NBA great LeBron James weighs up chances of becoming the most powerful man in the US

'Bro, you need to run for President!' NBA great LeBron James weighs up chances of becoming the most powerful man in the US

At the start of an election campaign in which he might have been involved but for his Los Angeles Lakers contract, NBA great LeBron James has been told he has the 'influence' and 'impact' to become the United States President.

Three-time NBA champion James is known for his campaigning, particularly on social and racial issues, as well as his community projects aimed at empowering underprivileged young people.

Those initiatives, including the opening of an educational facility for 240 students who were identified as being at risk, have frequently led to James being touted as a future presidential candidate.

Earlier this week, James’s team-mate, center DeMarcus Cousins, argued that the 35-year-old is the NBA player who would make an excellent President, telling podcast All the Smoke: “He’s going to do it the right way.

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“I told him the other day...‘Bro, you need to run for President!’ I think he can do it. I’m definitely [voting for him]. He has that type of impact, influence, and just being a genuine person.”

James smiled when asked about Cousins’ comments, coyly replying: “He’s said it a few times as the season’s gone on.”

Before signing a four-year deal reported to be worth $154 million with Lakers, James pondered running against current President Donald Trump in this year’s election campaign.

Faced with the hypothetical prospect of Trump being guaranteed another victory in the absence of viable competition, James told CNN in 2018: “Well, in that case I may [run for office]. I believe there are some people out there, I hope. Let's see.

“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.”

In an immediate demonstration of his far-reaching influence, James turned his statesmanship to baseball this week in a scathing outburst about the scandal that has embroiled the Houston Astros.

Reflecting his fury with the Astros, who were fined $5 million and stripped of four draft picks for using secret cameras during games, James told his audience of more than 45 million followers on Twitter: “I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it, I would be f****** irate! I mean, like, uncontrollable about what I would/could do!”

Questioning baseball boss Rob Manfred’s apparent lack of response, James fumed: “Listen here, baseball commissioner. Listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken [they are] about this.

“Literally, the ball is in your court (or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of sports.”

During the 2017 and 2018 World Series, the Astros used their covert video feed to watch catchers and pitchers before banging trash cans to tell the hitter what pitch would be coming.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were subsequently suspended by the MLB for the entire 2020 season before being fired by the team.