Making decisions is nothing new for Barack Obama. Decisions on health policies, educational reform, international relations, military spending, cabinet positions... he's dealt with the works.
Basketball front office decisions, though, are new ground. These types of choices were reserved for his post-presidential career, and he was asked a tough question by Bill Simmons on a recent episode of his podcast.
The question was simple on the surface: of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson, who would you want to start a franchise with for the next 12 years? But simple just isn't the appropriate word to use for this question, as it obviously has a ton of dimensions, and Obama addressed one of the most important ones in his evaluation of the three players.
"I want to see if Giannis gets a mid-range this year," Obama said. "Everyone's worrying Giannis getting a three-point shot. Giannis needs a 12-footer or 15-footer, that's what matters. If he does, then I think he's unstoppable."
It's hard to disagree with him, there. If two consecutive MVPs and a Defensive Player of the Year Award isn't already unstoppable, then a consistent jumper would sure change that. After all, Giannis shot a stellar 55.3% from the field last season, but breaking it down by distance shows an improvable discrepancy among distances (via Basketball Reference).
At Rim: 77.1% on 678 attempts
3 - 10 feet: 36.1% on 227 attempts
10 - 16 feet: 42.7% on 96 attempts
16 - < 3 pt.: 41.5% on 65 attempts
3 pt.: 30.6% on 333 attempts
Clearly, the three pointer needs work, as he alluded to, but increasing his accuracy and confidence from mid-range what add yet another element to his attack.
"If he has the same shot as a Karl Malone or even a Kawhi, where in crunch time he can just pull up, who's gonna block that shot?" Obama said, and it's a question worth pondering. Imagine if he could turn a play like the one below into a step-back jumper... double unstoppable!
It's a big if, though, and if he didn't foresee that development occurring in Giannis, Obama would go with the 21-year-old prodigy in Dallas.
"If [Giannis] doesn't develop it, then probably Luka," Obama said. "Just because more skill set, although Zion's just more fun to watch."
So there you have it. The potential of an unstoppable force? Roll with Giannis. A polished, well-rounded and still evolving skill set? Go with Giannis. And if you're looking for ticket sales and a must-watch basketball experience? Zion's your guy.
Take note, NBA GMs.