Blog Entry

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 4:07 pm
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Posted by Ben Golliver    

Barack Obama says Michael Jordan is the GOAT. (Getty Images)

Sure, gasoline is $14 a gallon and North Korea and Iran are in a race to see who can be first to end humanity as we know it. But it's all good, because United States President Barack Obama got the correct answer when asked the world's most important question: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?

During a podcast interview with ESPN.com, Obama didn't hesitate in making his selection: legendary Chicago Bulls guard and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

"You've got to go with Jordan," Obama said.

Point for point, Obama hit on all the major arguments in Jordan's favor: rings, passion, skill, clutch ability, marketing impact and swagger.

"You've got guys who are comparable in terms of talent," Obama said. "I think LeBron [James] is as talented as Michael is. You've got guys like [Larry] Bird or Magic [Johnson] who had that same will to win. But combining that package and then just always being there at the moment. Very rarely not hitting that shot. Like, Utah at the end... And the grace with which he played. There was a charisma to him on the court. You could not not watch him. Unbelievable."

Obama, a senator from Illinois before he became president and a big-time Bulls fan, was asked whether his selection was influenced by those factors.

"That's an NBA pick [and not a Chicago pick]. You never had a combination of talent and fierce will to win and longevity and rising to the occasion. I haven't seen it."

Since Jordan retired, the "Greatest of All Time" question has never been anything more than a two-player debate: Jordan or Boston Celtics center Bill Russell. No one else comes close when it comes to rings, individual accomplishments and overall dominance of their era. Jordan is the right choice, given his global impact and command over a larger, better, smarter league.

But Russell doesn't go home empty-handed. After all, Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom back in Feb. 2011.

"Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball," Obama said in a White House statement at the time. "Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times.  The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality."
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Comments

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:34 pm
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

"Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball,"
The President doesn't appear to know any more about that era of basketball than he does about job creation or deficit reduction. The player who has most affected the defining of basketball from that era was Wilt Chamberlain not Russell. Yes, Russell won more rings than anyone. And he deserved them. But he was surrounded by many Hall of Famers. Bob Cousy defined those teams. Here is what says:

Chamberlain is regarded as one of the most extraordinary and dominant basketball players in the history of the NBA. The 1972 NBA Finals MVP is holder of numerous official NBA all-time records, establishing himself as a scoring champion, all-time top rebounder and . He led the NBA in scoring seven times, field goal percentage nine times, minutes played eight times, rebounding eleven times, and assists once. Chamberlain's impact on the game is also reflected in the fact that he was directly responsible for several rule changes in the NBA, including widening the lane to try to keep him farther away from the hoop, instituting offensive goaltending and revising rules governing inbounding the ball and shooting free throws (such as making it against the rules to inbound the ball over the backboard). Chamberlain, who reportedly had a 50-inch vertical leap, was physically capable of converting foul shots via a without a running start (beginning his movement at the top of the key). When his dunks practically undermined the difficulty of a foul shot, the NBA banned his modus operandi.<sup id="cite_ref-untilhisdyingday_96-4" class="reference"></sup> In basketball history, pundits have stated that the only other player who forced such a massive change of rules is 6'10" center , who played a decade before Chamberlain and also caused many rule changes designed to thwart so-called "big men"
As for Russell - Chamberlain matchups the statistics are one-sided in favor of Chamberlain (also from ):

Chamberlain outscored Russell 30 to 14.2 per game and outrebounded him 28.2 to 22.9 in the regular season, and also in the playoffs, he outscored him 25.7 to 14.9 and outrebounded him 28 to 24.7.
Russell, however was the recipient of wins 57-37 in regular season and 29-20 in playoff games. Both were amazing players. Both deserve accolades beyond most other players. But redefining basketball was Wilt's role while Russell's role was to play defense. When WSilt set the all-time single game record for rebounds with 55 - it was against Russell.



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:53 am
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

"we had a former owner of a baseball team in the white house and this was never done."

Just cuz one owns a team doesn't mean they know anything about the sport...and really, who cared about W's opinion? Obama can actually PLAY basketball...



Since: Mar 28, 2008
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:51 am
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

getting old with the obama bs here.   we had a former owner of a baseball team in the white house and this was never done.   stick to sports.


bhjkgggg
Since: Mar 6, 2012
Posted on: March 6, 2012 2:31 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: March 5, 2012 9:22 pm
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

Stop throwing softballs. Next time, ask who the best ever White Sox player was.
lol



Since: Dec 23, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2012 4:07 pm
 

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

Stop throwing softballs. Next time, ask who the best ever White Sox player was.


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