David Stern’s Scouting Report On The President: “He’s Not As Good As He Thinks He is.”

10.26.12 5 years ago

Barack Obama

I don’t know how the segment of undecided voters who are also NBA fans breaks down, but it’s clear President Barack Obama has cornered the basketball crowd since 2008. Still David Stern, a “loyal Democrat,” wanted to speak truth to power recently about President No. 44’s game. It’s typical Stern.

In the interview with Reuters, he believes Obama’s game has been overhyped.

“He’s not that good. … He’s a lefty but he goes the same way every time, sorry. I’m a loyal Democrat, a passionate Democrat. He’s not as good as he thinks he is.”

Now crosscheck Stern’s joking jab with Michael Lewis‘ evaluation of the POTUS’ game in a recent feature.

Obama could find a perfectly respectable game with his equals in which he could shoot and score and star, but this is the game he wants to play. It’s ridiculously challenging, and he has very little space to maneuver, but he appears happy. He’s actually just good enough to be useful to his team, as it turns out. Not flashy, but he slides in to take charges, passes well, and does a lot of little things well. The only risk he takes is his shot, but he shoots so seldom, and so carefully, that it actually isn’t much of a risk at all. (He smiles when he misses; when he makes one, he looks even more serious.) “Spacing is big. He knows where to go,” said one of the other players as we watched. “And unlike a lot of lefties, he can go to his right.”

And he chattered constantly. “You can’t leave him open like that!” … “Money!” … “Take that shot!” His team jumped ahead, mainly because it took fewer stupid shots. When I threw one up I discovered the reason for this. When you are on the president’s basketball team and you take a stupid shot, the president of the United States screams at you. “Don’t be looking to the sidelines all sheepish,” he hollered at me. “You got to get back and play D!”

I ask this because I honestly don’t know: Based on what we have heard about Obama’s game, what NBA player is his best comparison?

What do you think?

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