Obama Thinks LeBron Belongs in Chicago

President interviewed by Marv Albert

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 01: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) answers questions from reporters during a brief news conference at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel Febuary 1, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. Obama is charging forward for the last push before Super Tuesday, where voters in 22 states will choose between him and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    If LeBron James isn't sure he can win in Cleveland, President Barack Obama thinks there's an opportunity with his hometown Chicago Bulls.

    "You know, like I said, I don't want to meddle," Obama told TNT. "I will say this: (Derrick) Rose, Joakim Noah it's a pretty good core. You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well there."

    Obama was interviewed about a number of basketball subjects by broadcaster Marv Albert on the White House basketball court. The interview will be shown Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EDT.

    James can become a free agent this summer, and his decision whether to leave the Cavaliers is one of the hottest topics in sports. Though he's never said he wants out of his native Ohio, there's speculation he'd consider it after the Cavaliers were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round by the Boston Celtics.

    "I think that the most important thing for LeBron right now is actually to find a structure where he's got a coach that he respects and is working hard with teammates who care about him and if that's in Cleveland, then he should stay in Cleveland," Obama said. "If he doesn't feel like he can get it there, then someplace else."

    Obama compared James' situation to the Bulls not winning until Michael Jordan had confidence in Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and the rest of his teammates. Once that happened, Chicago won six NBA championships in the 1990s.

    "It wasn't until you got that framework around you that you could be a champion," Obama said. "Same thing happened with Kobe (Bryant). You know, I think that, first with Shaq (O'Neal) then later with (Pau) Gasol, you know, he's gotten that sense of a team around him and I think LeBron hasn't quite been able to get that yet. That's what he needs to find."

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