Obama Biography: 'I'm LeBron, Baby'

ABC News' Jon Karl ( @jonkarl ) reports:

Flashback:

Shortly before his break-out speech at the 2004 Democratic convention in Boston, Barack Obama looked out over the crowd and told Chicago Tribune reporter David Mendell, “I’m Lebron, baby. I can play on this level. I got game.”

After watching the speech, Mendell himself looked out over the crowd in wonder and said, “Yes, Indeed. Tonight, Barack, you are LeBron, baby.”

Somehow “I’m Dirk Nowitzki, baby” doesn’t have the same ring …

Here’s how Mendell recounted the conversation in “Obama: From Promise to Power,” his 2008 biography of Obama:

“After Obama and I slipped through a security checkpoint and he momentarily broke free from the entourage, I sidled up to him and told him that he seemed to be impressing many people of influence in this rarefied atmosphere.

“Obama, his gaze fixed directly ahead, never broke his stride.

"'I'm LeBron, baby,’ he replied, referring to LeBron James, the phenomenally talented teenager who at the time was shooting the lights out in the National Basketball Association. ‘I can play on this level. I got some game.’"

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