The country's basketball-fan-in-chief on Thursday seemed to change his tune on NBA superstar LeBron James' potential free agent destination. 

In an interview with CNN's Larry King, President Barack Obama said it would be "wonderful story" if King James stays with his current team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.


"I'll be honest with you, and my folks in Chicago may be mad at me for saying this, but I think it'd be a wonderful story if LeBron says, you know what, I'm going to stay here in Cleveland," he said. "He's from Ohio. That's a town that has had some tough times. For him to say, I'm going to make a commitment to this city, you know, I think would be a wonderful thing."

James is easily the most sought-after free agent in basketball this summer, with multiple teams vying for the services of one of the NBA's best players.

Obama raised some eyebrows in an interview with basketball announcer Marv Albert late last month when he said James would fit in well with Obama's hometown team, the Chicago Bulls.

"You know, like I said, I don't want to meddle," Obama told Albert. "I will say this: [Bulls point guard Derrick] Rose, [Bulls forward] Joakim Noah, it's a pretty good core. You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well there."

Some even said half-jokingly that Obama could lose votes in Ohio for his 2012 reelection bid for his comments. But Obama resisted the interpretation some had from his comments that he wants LeBron to play in Chicago.

"What I said to him was — I didn't say it to him, I said it to Marv Albert. He needs to be in a place where he's got a coach and a team around him that can do what Phil Jackson and the Bulls did for Michael Jordan," he said. "Michael Jordan couldn't win a championship on his own. It's all about having a team concept that works. He hasn't quite gotten that yet and he needs to find that situation."