Obama And Barkley Could Be The Next NBA-Owning Bromance For the Ages
Sir Charles would totally be down with joining an Obama bid for the Phoenix Suns.
Wait, could Barack Obama be vying to become part owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns? And does Charles Barkley want in? The latest NBA rumors might have teeth, as they come from a conversation between Barkley and Bill Simmons of The Ringer.
According to Simmons, Obama is “involved” with one of the groups vying for ownership of the Suns. The interest is unsurprising, as the former (and maybe most athletic and coolest?) President was known to hold pickup basketball games at the White House, coached his daughter Sasha’s youth basketball team, and even demonstrated that he still has some range when campaigning for Biden two years ago.
And when Simmons asked Barkley if he’d be down to partner with Obama, he found the idea decidedly not terrible. (Get it?)
“If Obama calls me, hell yeah, I’m buying in,” Barkley said, being a little understated about entering into a business partnership with a guy who was on one of the funniest episodes of Between Two Ferns ever. “If Obama calls me and says, 'Hey, would you be part owner of a team,' hell yeah. You know I got so much love and admiration for that guy.”
A four-time Sports Emmy Award winner for "Outstanding Studio Analyst" for his work on TNT’s NBA broadcasts and, obviously, as a former pro basketball phenom, Barkley is wildly popular in basketball circles. After playing four seasons with the Suns in the mid-1990s, the Hall of Famer has lived just outside of Phoenix since he retired from basketball in 2000, making him a natural fit for any ownership group attempting to purchase the team.
The Suns — along with the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA — became available last month when majority owner Robert Sarver stated he’d sell the clubs amid fallout from the findings of an investigation into the “toxic” work environment he created since he bought the teams 18 years ago.
But with the ever-increasing asking price for professional sports franchises, he wouldn’t be able to go at it alone. Forbes estimates the team will sell for at least $2.5 billion, and Barkley suspects the purchase price will soar even higher.
“My phone has been blowing up, but I tell them like, guys, I am very well paid, but I don’t have 4 billion dollars just sitting around,” Barkley said. “'Cause the team is probably going to go for 4 billion dollars.”
Sure, Obama and Barkley are both rich, but few individuals have the financial gravitas to purchase an NBA team outright. But they do have enough money to invest significantly in a team and they both have an unparalleled combination of charisma and coolness to recruit other partners.
I mean, the former President, and the one most associated with actually being cool, owning your NBA team... is pretty dope. Plus, Charles Barkley!?
“[Obama’s] the one guy I feel like, they would make him the actual face, and the money guys would be so happy to have him at the front that they would just be like, 'Cool,’” Simmons said about Obama in his conversation with Barkley.
It really would be a dream pairing, and one that would make Phoenix Suns fans rightly insufferable until the end of time. And if it does come to fruition, hopefully, the duo spends games mic’d up courtside instead of tucked away in the owner's suite. That’s some courtside commentary we’d love to listen to.