1. It’s not news that former President Barack Obama is one of the best speakers on the planet. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that he was able to hold his own while virtually hanging with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal for a few minutes in a video about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
What was surprising, though, was how much chemistry the men had and how President Obama fit right in with NBA legends.
When Obama first joined the chat, he said, “So, I’m playing Kenny ‘the Jet.’ ” And indeed he did. If he ever needed a job, he could easily join the Inside the NBA crew based on his rapport with Shaq and Chuck.
Of course, Charles was Charles throughout the video asking, “Shaq, you know the difference between me, you and the president? He’s got all them books in the background. He’s actually probably read them. I just got mine for show.”
Barkley also told President Obama his golf game was great right now, which prompted Shaq to reply, “Chuck, you know it’s a federal offense to lie to a president.”
The best exchange between the three came when President Obama asked, “Is there anything Shaq isn’t selling right now?” while also noting Shaq owns “half of everything he sells, too.”
“I don’t have as much money as the great Charles Barkley, but I’m good,” replied Shaq.
That’s when President Obama dropped a phenomenal haymaker, saying, “That’s 'cause you don’t go to Vegas as often as he does.”
Shaq then asked, “Charles, how does it feel that the president knows you’re an avid gambler in Vegas?”
Near the end of the video, after explaining why it's important everyone get the vaccine, President Obama got in one more shot at Barkley when his computer acted up.
“Did Chuck freeze up? Because I’ve never seen him this quiet.”
Well played, Mr. President. Well played.
I can’t recommend enough watching the entire five-minute video, which perfectly mixed entertainment and information.
2. On this date in 2005, "The Basketball" episode of The Office debuted on NBC.
If you're an Office fan who has never listened to the SI Media Podcast episode with Steve Carell, you should do so now. Carell shared some great inside stories about "Basketball" and other episodes.
3. I've said this a million times and now it will be a million and one: The easiest thing MLB can do to increase popularity is mic up every single player for every single game. Case in point: Anthony Rizzo screaming "FREDERICK" at Freddie Freeman during a rundown Sunday night.
4. This is the worst throw you will ever see that actually gets a batter out.
5. There isn't much Justin Turner does wrong on the field, so this was enjoyable to watch.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with gambling guru Todd Fuhrman. The former Caesars Palace oddsmaker talked about the viral videos involving a fan telling Mets first baseman Pete Alonso the over/under before he homered and another fan talking gambling with Reds first baseman Joey Votto. Fuhrman also gave an overview on where we stand with legalized gambling, like which states are doing it right and which are doing it wrong. He also explained the importance of being able to shop for the best odds, which sport has benefitted the most from legalized gambling, how the NCAA tournament and the Masters fared from a betting standpoint, his best and worst losses this season, how much baseball betting has changed over the years, rule changes wreaking havoc on bettors and much more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Sometimes, on a Monday, you need a little Rock to get the week started right.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.