During the 2010 NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers’ visit, Obama—being the huge Chicago Bulls fan that he is—reminded everyone that Phil Jackson won six of his 10 titles with Chicago. He also had a few friendly barbs for NBA legend Magic Johnson, who was also in attendance.
“You remember that, Magic.” He reminded Magic about the play in the Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals where Michael Jordan hit one of the most iconic layups in NBA history by acting it out.
Sometimes it’s Barack handing out the gifts, like when he presented Celtics legend Bill Russell in 2011 with the Congressional Medal of Freedom. The US President on stage with a twelve-time NBA All-Star – does it get cooler than that?
The NFL didn’t escape Obama’s jabs. The president joked about the Denver Broncos’ defense during their visit and the New England Patriots were reminded about “deflategate”
“I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events, but with the Patriots in town, I was worried that 11 out of 12 of them would fall flat.”
President Obama even brought March Madness brackets into the White House with his yearly public bracket picks.
The Presidential Duffer
Of course it’s not all about basketball. President Obama, like many other US presidents, likes to get in a round of golf now and again. Fifteen of the last eighteen presidents have been duffers, so Barack’s attraction to the game is nothing unexpected for a commander-in-chief.
So how dedicated is President Obama to the game? Let’s put it this way: he played his 300th round of golf by August 2016. It’s one of the few opportunities for Obama to get out of the White House bubble, he’s said. Also, the president’s not exactly a spring chicken any more. He’s in his mid-fifties, and golf is a lot gentler on his body than basketball.
Whether he’s on the courts, on the links, or in the Oval Office, President Obama remains a tremendous competitor. With two major election wins under his belt, he’ll have to find something else to do when his second term is up. Rumor says he might even be thinking about buying an NBA team. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!