Obama compares LeBron James to Michael Jordan
Updated On: Feb 15 2014 11:41:28 AM CST
Still a home-town guy, President Barack Obama says Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan "will always be the guy for me."
But in the same breath, Obama believes LeBron James of the two-time defending World Champion Miami Heat has got what it takes to become an all-time great.
Obama's passion for basketball is well known and he took time this week to tape an interview with TNT sports analyst and former hoop star Charles Barkley ahead of Sunday's 63rd NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.
"You know LeBron, I know LeBron. When you're standing next to him and then you watch him close up -- I've never seen somebody that size, that fast, who can jump that high, who's that strong, who has that much basketball savvy all in one package," Obama said in the interview that was taped on Thursday and will air on Sunday before the game.
"Now, I'm a Chicago guy and Mike will always be the guy for me just because that was a magical moment for the city and he was a champion but Mike's now retired," he said.
"LeBron, when you look at him, you might think he might be able to play at a high level for another seven, eight, 10 years. He's only 29 years old. In terms of every aspect of the game, LeBron has the chance to be as good as anybody."
Obama welcomed LeBron and the Heat to the White House last month to congratulate them on a second-straight NBA championship.
Even then, the president couldn't resist putting in a plug for his hometown team.
"They won a team record 66 games," Obama said praising the Heat's 2013 season. "At one point, they won 27 games straight -- the second longest winning streak ever. Extraordinarily Impressive."
Then Obama quipped: "Almost as impressive as the Bulls' 72-win season."
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