February 14, 2014

Retired NBA superstar Charles Barkley yesterday interviewed President Obama in a session that’ll air Sunday night as part of TNT’s broadcast of the NBA All-Star Game. An excerpt is out there on the Internet, though calling it a “teaser” would be an exaggeration. Here’s the transcript of the 90-second clip:

Barkley: I never thought I’d say this, but watching LeBron James play at the peak of his superpowers. It’s an amazing debate. I never thought I would say somebody like, this guy might be as good as a Michael Jordan.

Obama: You know LeBron, I know LeBron. When you’re standing next to him and 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, so we don’t yet know where’s he’s gonna be. Now, I’m a Chicago guy, and Mike will always be the guy for me just because, you know, that was a magical moment for the city. And, you know, he was a champion. But, you know, Mike’s now retired. LeBron, when you look at him, you think he might be able to play at a high level for another seven, eight, ten years. He’s 29 years old. In terms of every aspect of the game, LeBron has a chance to be as good as anybody.

Decades of television history have proven that one of the toughest things to do in all of media is to provide fresh and original commentary on sports. Here, Obama provides a little more proof.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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