Obama took a small jab at Kobe Bryant while talking about Michael Jordan and the NBA Finals

Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesFormer President Barack Obama told ESPN’s Michael Wilbon that Gary Payton’s defence made Michael Jordan look like Kobe Bryant.
  • President Barack Obama was in attendance for Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Sunday night.
  • At the game, Obama caught up with ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, reminiscing about the last time Obama attended the NBA Finals.
  • During their conversation, Obama took a light shot at Kobe Bryant, citing his tendency to put up a lot of shots.
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Former President Barack Obama stole a bit of the celebrity limelight away from Drake at Game 2 of the NBA Finals in Toronto on Sunday night.

While Drake was in his usual courtside seats, Obama entered the arena just before tip-off, wearing a sharp leather jacket and sitting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

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Obama showed up for Game 2 of the NBA Finals in a sharp leather jacket that earned rave reviews

At one point while walking through the back of the arena, Obama came across ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, with whom he discussed his last time attending an NBA Finals game, and in the same breath, took a thinly veiled shot at Kobe Bryant.

“The last time I was at the Finals, Michael Jordan was playing Gary Payton,” Obama told Wilbon. “I was actually telling some young people, and I said, ‘Payton actually was one of those guys who could guard Jordan.'”

“You look at Michael’s percentages in the Finals … He got the points, but he took a lot of shots. He looked more Kobe-esque.”

You can watch the interaction below (via Reddit).

Obama is referring to the 1996 NBA Finals between Payton’s SuperSonics and Jordan’s Bulls. Through the six games it took to finish the series, Jordan put up 27.3 points per game but averaged just 41.5% from the field while taking more than 20 shots per game.

In fairness to all involved, being compared to either Bryant or Jordan can never be seen as too harsh a shot, as both players are amongst the greatest to ever play the game. That said, given the context, it’s clear that Obama is taking a light jab in the Lakers’ legend’s direction.

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