But, while viewers were captivated by the first two episodes of the ten-part documentary, they were a bit confused by Obama’s description: “former Chicago resident.”
And the understated title quickly gave way to jokes.
Ah yes. I knew I recognized that guy, he's the famous former Chicago resident pic.twitter.com/zK1eF7TklC— Luggage Guy Trent (@BarstoolTrent) April 20, 2020
There was also some Obama-styled riffing on Jordan’s famous film, “Space Jam.”
best part of the doc so far pic.twitter.com/Xgnpbcxz9m— Ben Rosen (@ben_rosen) April 20, 2020
The 44th president’s cameo was not tied to politics. Instead, Obama talked about what Jordan meant to the city of Chicago — where he spent time as a young lawyer before eventually being elected to Congress.
In his brief appearance, Obama told viewers, “When Michael first came to town, I didn’t have the money to buy tickets for Bulls games, even the discount ones back in the day. I was pretty broke, but suddenly you have a sports figure that puts Chicago on the map and that everybody was able to rally around,” per a round-up from the Chicago Tribune.
The director explained that he wanted Obama’s role to be legitimately tied to the story, saying, “I was pretty adamant that we don’t have people in here who don’t have an organic connection to the story. I think the temptation is because Michael was super famous, let’s get as many super famous people in here as possible.”
Obama wasn’t even the only former president who got an understated title in the documentary — former President Bill Clinton was listed as “former Arkansas Governor.”
Imagine having the pull to get two former United States presidents for your basketball documentary and calling them “Former Chicago Resident” and “Former Arkansas Governor”#TheLastDance pic.twitter.com/3jyN0vHET8— Cade Onder (@Cade_Onder) April 20, 2020
Before he left the White House, Obama honored Jordan with a Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Bulls star was among the last people that Obama gave the honor to — also honored with Jordan were Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen and Ellen DeGeneres.