LeBron James just hinted that he could run for president in 2020

  • LeBron James has hinted at one scenario in which he could be tempted into challenging Donald Trump for the US presidency in 2020.

  • Education and racial harmony would most likely feature prominently on his presidential ticket.

  • James recently opened an educational facility for 240 at-risk students.

  • 2020 is likely to come too soon, however, as James just signed a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The number 23 has long been synonymous with LeBron James' career in the NBA, but the number 2020 could play a more significant part in the athlete's life after sport.

The basketball superstar has acknowledged one scenario in which he "may" go head-to-head with President Donald Trump in the 2020 US election.

James recently sat down for an interview with the CNN host Don Lemon in which he discussed his decision to open a school in Ohio, his thoughts on racial inequality in America, and the conditions required for him to compete against Trump.

Asked by Lemon whether he would ever consider running for political office, James initially said "I don't think so" and then "I don't know." When given a hypothetical scenario in which Trump had no viable competition and would be guaranteed to win reelection if James, who has been critical of the president, did not run, James suggested 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."

Education could rank high on James' political agenda after he opened the I Promise educational facility, a school for 240 at-risk students.

James, a three-time NBA champion, wanted to create the school toprovide opportunities for children who face difficult life or social situations . The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. because, James says, he wants the kids in school instead of on the street.

"For kids in general all they want to know is that someone cares," he told CNN. "And when they walk through that door I hope they know that someone cares."

James has become politically outspoken over the past few years, particularly over racial issues, and during his conversation with Lemon he accused Trump of intentionally being divisive.

"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," James said. "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."

James once had to explain racism to his children when vandalspainted the N-word over his Los Angeles property .

"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 told CNN.

James then offered advice to black youths on how to overcome racism. "When you're an African-American kid, male or female, you're always going to be against obstacles," he said. "You can allow it to affect you, or you can allow it to empower you and rise above it.

"When you look at the greatest leaders of our time, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King, after all the adversity they went through, they never let it down them. They used it as motivation to be more powerful — and they are the reason we are here today."

Could James be a leader like Ali or King?

Though James has reached the top of basketball, he has a reputation for being coachable and professional.

Business Insider spoke with Phil Handy, an NBA coach who knows James better than most, in London last year , and Handy told us that James "studies, wants to be challenged, and wants to be coached." Those skills could transfer should James want to learn more about governmental departments that focus on energy, housing and urban development, and defense.

Handy also said James was a born leader and a focused worker. While at the Cavaliers, he said, James was "one of the first guys in the building."

Ultimately, 2020 may come too soon for James, as he only recentlysigned a four-year, $154 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James is set to return to basketball for the 2018-2019 season, which begins in late October and will end in mid-April. Should the Lakers make the playoffs, the team's season could carry on until June.

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