President Barack Obama at a fundraising event with Michael Jordan likened his re-election campaign to a basketball game in which one's opponents use gamesmanship, but fail to triumph regardless.

"We are in the fourth quarter. We are up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty," Obama told 120 guests who paid $20,000 to join Obama and Jordan at New York's landmark Lincoln Center.

"We've got a few folks on our team in foul trouble. We've got a couple of injuries, and I believe that they've got one last run in them," Obama joked to an audience that included professional basketball players.

"I'd say there's about seven minutes to go in the game. Nobody knows better than Michael that if you've got a little bit of a lead and there's about seven minutes to go, that's when you put them away," the president added.

According to the latest polls, Democrat Obama enjoys a slight advantage over his Republican opponent Mitt Romney, but 76 days before the election, the fate of the incumbent's game rests in the hands of an often-faltering economy.

An avid basketball enthusiast and amateur player, Obama was joined by stars of the New York Knicks, including Carmelo Athony, at the Big Apple fundraiser.

"It is very rare I come to an event where I'm like the fifth or sixth most interesting person," Obama joked.

"Usually the folks want to take a picture with me, sit next to me, talk to me. That has not been the case at this event, and I completely understand."

The event earned at least $3 million in campaign funds for Obama, who nevertheless is struggling to match the sums raised by Romney.

The New York event marked a rare foray into politics for Jordan, the former Chicago Bulls superstar, considered the best basketball player in history.