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Obama’s toughest job yet: awarding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a medal

By Johnny Simon
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

US president Barack Obama hosted the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Nov. 22 at the White House, awarding the country’s highest civilian honor to luminaries of business, sports, entertainment, activism, and art. Recipients included Bill and Melinda Gates, Tom Hanks, Ellen Degeneres, Robert DeNiro, Frank Gehry, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, and Maya Lin.

But for Obama, a well-documented basketball fan, it could’ve been the attendance of Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who got him the most excited.

The president, standing respectably tall at 6’1”, was still no match for the NBA legend Abdul-Jabbar, who at 7’2” had to bend backwards, making for an awkward reverse bear hug as Obama awarded him his medal.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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