In fact, they were granted the biggest interview possible for their most popular analyst.
President Obama is as arguably the biggest sports fan president the country has ever witnessed (with the First Lady possibly holding that distinction in her respective corner) and during last night’s halftime show after Pharrell rocked the house, he shared his expertise of basketball with none other than Charles Barkley before they delved into a bit of politics.
It’s virtually impossible to hold a basketball discussion in 2014 without mentioning LeBron James and Sir Chuck, who feels that the NBA’s reigning King just may surpass Michael Jordan in terms of overall greatness one day. President Obama was very “political” with his response saying, “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. Mike is now retired. LeBron, when you look at him, you think he might be able to play at a high level for another seven, eight, 10 years. He’s 29 years old. In terms of every aspect of the game, LeBron has a chance to be as good as anybody.”
The interview didn’t linger on favorite past slam dunk moments or other nonessential b-ball trivia. Barkley wisely steered the conversation towards the country’s immediate hot-button topics such as gay marriage and affordable health care.
Using Jason Collins, the former NBA center who announced that he was gay, as a reference, Barkley asked about the barrier breakdown in gay rights the country has been experiencing and President Obama countered using professional sports’ past segregation as a metaphor.
“You think about some of the stories that some folks, even like Oscar Robertson tell what they went through,” recalled the president. “You think about what Jackie Robinson ended up meeting–not just to baseball–but to the entire society. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for him.”
The president also continued on to defend Obamacare, citing young people don’t know what they’re missing until they are sick and it is too late. View the entire interview in full in the video below.