It’s no secret that former President Barack Obama has a true love for basketball.
He isn’t just a spectator, he has been honing his skills on the court since his high school days. Several documentarians captured him shooting hoops during his terms as president.
While leaving a recent campaign event for Joe Biden, Obama drained a three-point shot. As he walked off the court, he told stunned onlookers, “This is what I do”. His skills on the court and love for the sport are well known.
Because of his connection to basketball, he has been asked to weigh in on the LeBron James vs Michael Jordan debate several times.
Now, #44 reveals (again) which #23 he deems the best.
Barack Obama Discusses Basketball All-Stars
In an interview with Speedy Morman, which clocks in at just under an hour, the two covered a range of topics. In the final minutes of the talk before the discussion turned to the Trump administration, Morman asked the former president if his stance on the debate had changed.
Barack Obama was diplomatic in how he answered the question. He equates the debate to the question if Kendrick Lamar or Marvin Gaye is better, and the argument checks out: “I love both, they’re just different,” the former president says.
But of course, he makes it clear that his stance stands: he believes MJ is (and probably always will be) the GOAT.
“Michael at his peak was a sight to behold and he was doing it in an era when folks were beating the heck out of him,” he says.
Though, the former president admits LeBron still has time to catch up. “If at 40, he’s still an all-star and competing in this way, then you have to factor that in.”
He also acknowledged that he was not the final arbiter of who would go down in history as the greatest basketball player of all time. I guess the numbers will do the talking, but we appreciate this take from #44.
Praise for LeBron
Barack Obama had nothing but praise for the Akron Hammer. Commenting on James’ longevity in the game, Obama said that he doesn’t look like he has lost a step in the seventeen years since his first NBA season. He also concedes that current players are benefitting from scientific advances that players in Jordan’s era did not.
He also added that LeBron James is undisputedly the best basketball player of the current era. The broader debate, according to the former leader of the free world, will settle itself in the future.
Obama’s Opinion: Who Is the GOAT?
The former president has no problems acknowledging his bias. Again likening this debate to any debate on music, he said that the music you grew up with, much like the sports stars from your formative years, will always be closer to your heart.
Outside of the generational bias, Barack Obama is a Chicago native, which gives Bulls legend Jordan a leg up in the debate. “I acknowledge the bias of being from Chicago,” he explains while referencing how who we are surrounded by in our upbringing adjusts who we support as we grow older.
To him, Jordan will always the greatest of all time. There is hardly anything King James could do to dethrone MJ as the GOAT in the former president’s opinion. He knows each individual and each generation will have their own star player though. “I think each generation just has to embrace who they love,” Obama says.