Count President Bill Clinton among the most excited to see Michael Jordan return to the NBA, with a connection between the two men that runs from Chicago to Arkansas to Washington and now New York.

President Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton must now root for his home-state Knicks, but remains a big fan of Michael Jordan.

NBAE Photos
Both men rose to the peaks of their careers around the same time -- Clinton was elected President the year after Jordan won his first NBA championship. Clinton's wife, current U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, was born in Chicago and grew up a Bulls fan. Meanwhile, during his pre-Presidential tenure, Clinton met and became a fan of Jordan's eventual "VP."

"Scottie Pippen, I met him when I was the governor of Arkansas and have known him since he was a young boy and playing in college," Clinton explained.

Clinton would team up with Al Gore to run the nation for eight years, while Jordan and Pippen ran the NBA table for six titles. The Clintons still lived in the White House when Jordan retired for the second time and came to Washington as president of basketball operations for the Wizards.

But while Clinton's eventual departure from office was permanent, Jordan's wasn't. The First Fan reflected on the imminence of another Jordan comeback during a recent visit to the NBA Store in New York.

"He's a very impressive man and a very smart man," the First Fan said of Jordan. "And he wouldn't do it for the opening gate, just for the media hype. He wouldn't do it if he didn't think he could compete at the same high level."

Clinton also believed Jordan's intelligence showed off the court, in his front office maneuverings with the Wizards.

"It was interesting to see what he did in the draft, taking a great young player right out of high school," Clinton said regarding No. 1 pick Kwame Brown who now becomes one of Jordan's new teammates.

Clinton
Clinton likes Mike:
28.8+ | ISDN+
The Clinton and Jordan worlds collide again when No. 23 and the Wizards play their first regular season game of the 2001-02 season at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks on Oct. 30. The former President has an office in Harlem, while of course, New York City holds most of his wife's new constituents. Clinton definitely wants to be in attendance when Jordan makes basketball history again, but isn't certain he'll be able to make it.

"I hope so. We're trying to work it out to get back," Clinton said. "I'm supposed to be somewhere else, a way long way away -- I can't remember where now -- but we're trying to get back because I'm just a huge basketball fan and I like him."

An executive echo as fans across the country welcome MJ back.