NBA all-world megastar LeBron James told reporters Thursday that he has no plans to run for president of the United States.
The three-time NBA champion was responding to a plea from teammate DeMarcus Cousins after seeing James’ leadership up close this season.
“I told him the other day,” Cousins said on a recent podcast. “He’s probably gonna get pissed at me saying this. Bro, you need to run for president.”
Apparently it isn’t the first time Cousins has nominated LeBron to lead the country.
“No, I’m not considering it, but yes, he’s said it a few times as the season’s gone along,” James said, according to video footage tweeted by Sports Illustrated’s Melissa Rohlin.
“Nah,” he added.
While he was unequivocal in his refusal, it should be noted that James did not give the classic “Sherman-esque” statement: “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.” The famous phrase, uttered by the former Civil War Union general when asked about running for president in 1884, is considered the Holy Grail of nonevasive responses.
James, a native of Ohio (like Sherman), has been outspoken on racial justice issues and critical of racist comments made by President Donald Trump. He once called Trump a “bum” following the president’s spat with NBA player Stephen Curry.
Meanwhile, James and the NBA have drawn criticism from lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley, following the league’s capitulation to Chinese officials after a Houston Rockets executive expressed support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.
As of Thursday, James’ Lakers are in first place in the NBA’s Western Conference and are the odds-on favorite to win the title.
If they do, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for LeBron to visit the White House.