This is the best picture of President Obama that has ever existed. I couldn’t love it more. Shepard Fairey should turn it into a poster. It should be plastered on lawn signs. All your obnoxious barely political friends should make it their Facebook photo come November.
All too often we see politicians pretend to care about sports or music or TV so that they can seem relatable to the public. But it almost always feels hollow. I don’t know at what point part of being a politician meant that your interests and hobbies had to be focus grouped, but it certainly feels that way now. That’s why this picture, and President Obama’s love for basketball in general, is so refreshing. It’s just so clearly authentic. When he walks into the Team USA locker room, he knows these guys. Upon seeing LeBron, he says, “what’s up, champ?” and he doesn’t mean it in a generic “tiger” or “sport” kind of way. He’s literally referencing LeBron’s recent NBA Finals win. He’s a basketball native.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in his interaction with Anthony Davis. From the moment he sees the rookie, the president is busting his balls. “What are y’all doing with this rookie? Is he carrying the bags?” When Kobe makes a joke about the team making Davis shave his trademark unibrow if he doesn’t carry the bags, Obama couldn’t look more delighted. He points to the space between his own eyebrows, flashes his million dollar smile, and makes a joke about how that’s big money for Davis, and how they can’t mess with that. This isn’t a politician pandering. It’s not even a politician trolling for votes. It’s just a sports fan living the dream. His job is beside the point. And that’s pretty cool to see.