Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

  • Intro

  • President Barack Obama

    Welcome to the White House, everybody.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Today, we celebrate extraordinary Americans who have lifted our spirits, strengthened our union, pushed us toward progress.

  • President Barack Obama

    I always love doing this event, but this is a particularly impressive class.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • We've got innovators and artists.

  • Public servants, rabble rousers, athletes, renowned character actors -- like the guy from Space Jam.

  • We pay tribute to those distinguished individuals with our nation's highest civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  • Michael Jordan

  • President Barack Obama

    When he was five years old, Michael Jordan nearly cut off his big toe with an axe.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Back then, his handles needed a little work.

  • President Barack Obama

    But think -- if things had gone differently, Air Jordan just might never have taken flight.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • I mean, you don’t want to buy a shoe with one toe missing.

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  • President Barack Obama

    We may never have seen him switch hands in mid-air against the Lakers.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Or drop 63 in the Garden.

  • Or gut it out in the flu game.

  • Or hit β€œthe shot” three different times -- over Georgetown, over Ehlo, over Russell.

  • President Barack Obama

    We might not have seen him take on Larry Bird in H-O-R-S-E or lift up the sport globally along with the Dream Team.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Yet MJ is still more than those moments; more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time -- the Dream Team and the Chicago '96 Bulls.

  • President Barack Obama

    He's more than a logo, more than just an Internet meme.

    Profile Picture of President Barack Obama in Michael Jordan - Presentation of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • More than just a charitable donor or a business owner committed to diversity.