Tag:Barack Obama
Posted on: March 5, 2012 3:57 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 4:07 pm

Obama: Michael Jordan is NBA's best ever

Posted by Ben Golliver    

Barack Obama says Michael Jordan is the GOAT. (Getty Images)

Sure, gasoline is $14 a gallon and North Korea and Iran are in a race to see who can be first to end humanity as we know it. But it's all good, because United States President Barack Obama got the correct answer when asked the world's most important question: Who is the greatest basketball player of all time?

During a podcast interview with ESPN.com, Obama didn't hesitate in making his selection: legendary Chicago Bulls guard and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

"You've got to go with Jordan," Obama said.

Point for point, Obama hit on all the major arguments in Jordan's favor: rings, passion, skill, clutch ability, marketing impact and swagger.

"You've got guys who are comparable in terms of talent," Obama said. "I think LeBron [James] is as talented as Michael is. You've got guys like [Larry] Bird or Magic [Johnson] who had that same will to win. But combining that package and then just always being there at the moment. Very rarely not hitting that shot. Like, Utah at the end... And the grace with which he played. There was a charisma to him on the court. You could not not watch him. Unbelievable."

Obama, a senator from Illinois before he became president and a big-time Bulls fan, was asked whether his selection was influenced by those factors.

"That's an NBA pick [and not a Chicago pick]. You never had a combination of talent and fierce will to win and longevity and rising to the occasion. I haven't seen it."

Since Jordan retired, the "Greatest of All Time" question has never been anything more than a two-player debate: Jordan or Boston Celtics center Bill Russell. No one else comes close when it comes to rings, individual accomplishments and overall dominance of their era. Jordan is the right choice, given his global impact and command over a larger, better, smarter league.

But Russell doesn't go home empty-handed. After all, Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal Of Freedom back in Feb. 2011.

"Bill Russell is the former Boston Celtics’ Captain who almost single-handedly redefined the game of basketball," Obama said in a White House statement at the time. "Russell led the Celtics to a virtually unparalleled string of eleven championships in thirteen years and was named the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times.  The first African American to coach in the NBA—indeed he was the first to coach a major sport at the professional level in the United States—Bill Russell is also an impassioned advocate of human rights.  He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and has been a consistent advocate of equality."
Posted on: January 9, 2012 4:17 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 4:23 pm

Mavs meet President Obama at the White House

Posted by Royce Young

They haven't got their rings quite yet, but the Mavericks can check off one more thing on their champions tour: They've shaken the hand of the president.

The Mavericks met President Barack Obama at the White House Monday to be honored and recognized for winning the 2010-11 NBA title.

"This was the Mavericks' first title, so I want to start by recognizing everyone that stuck with the team through good times and bad," Obama said to begin.

Obama also joked about the fact that because of the shortened season the Mavs weren't scheduled to play in Washington this season. Something owner Mark Cuban was very vocally upset with.

"It turns out that because of the lockout Dallas wasn't scheduled to play in Washington this season. That did not sit well with Mark," Obama said as Cuban laughed behind him.

Obama also got a pretty good zing in on the age of the Mavs.

"People said that Jason Kidd was too old. And I will say this is the first I've been with some world champions who are my contemporaries."

A few key players were missing from the meeting though as Tyson Chandler is now with the Knicks, J.J. Barea with the Wolves, Caron Butler is with the Clippers, DeShawn Stevenson with the Nets and Peja Stojakovic is retired.
Posted on: November 28, 2011 5:10 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 5:20 pm

President Obama: NBA agreement is 'good deal'

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama

Our President's long, national nightmare is over: the NBA has salvaged the 2011-2012 regular season.

WPXI.com reports that United States President Barack Obama approves of the NBA's (tentative) new collective bargaining agreement.
After playing basketball at Fort McNair on Saturday, President Barack Obama seemed to approve the tentative deal reached earlier in the day to end the NBA lockout.

When asked about the potential agreement, Obama gave a thumbs-up and said, "Good deal!"
There's probably some joke to be made here about how the NBA labor negotiators turned out to be more effective than Congress, but who has the time or energy these days to pretend to care about politics or the world around us? Maybe Jay Leno, but that's about it.

Obama's exclamatory excitement is no surprise. 

Obama has been vocal about his desire for NBA basketball, especially as the lockout wore on over the last few months. 

In early October, Obama said the lockout left him "heartbroken"; a few weeks later, Obama said he was "concerned" that the NBA would lose the entire 2011-2012 season. By November, Obama told reporters that the lockout was "killing me" but said that he "[wasn't] going to intercede."

Then, less than a week later, Obama announced the Obama Classic, a presidential reelection fundraising basketball game that was going to feature NBA stars like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Kevin Durant. He even printed up (and is selling) custom basketball jerseys.

The event, scheduled for Dec. 12, will now conflict with NBA training camps and the free agency period, slated to begin on Dec. 9. 

Hat tip: ProBasketballTalk
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:24 pm
Edited on: November 23, 2011 4:28 pm

President Obama gets custom basketball jersey

Posted by Ben Golliver

If we've learned anything during the ongoing NBA lockout, it's that you don't need much besides a court, an emcee and a ball to hold a charity or exhibition game. Cool jerseys help too.

United States President Barack Obama is hosting an array of NBA and WNBA stars in D.C. for a fundraising basketball game called the Obama Classic on Dec. 12. On Wednesday, just in time for the holiday shopping season, the President's official website, BarackObama.com, unveiled what is presumably the Obama Classic jersey design. The white jersey with red and blue trim across the chest and around the neck and arms features a "2012" patch in reference to his presidential reelection campaign and bears his name and the No. 44 on both the front and back.    

"Hit the courts while supporting our 44th president with this limited-edition athletic jersey," the product's official description reads. "Made of 2-Ply tricot mesh with sewn-on appliques. Made in the USA."

Obama's jersey retails for $95.

The jersey (kind of) shares a color scheme with the Washington Wizards' new patriotic red/white/blue jersey designs, released back in May as a way to pay respect to the nationa's capital and to the franchise's 1970s-era Washington Bullets look. 

Here's a look at the jersey via BarackObama.com. | Hat tip: Deadspin.com
Category: NBA
Posted on: November 18, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2011 9:10 pm

NBA stars to play Barack Obama fundraiser game

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama

Do you support United States President Barack Obama, like professional basketball and have $5,000 sitting around? If so, I know just the event for you.

President Obama is hosting a Washington, D.C. exhibition game featuring some of the NBA's biggest stars on Dec. 12. The only catch? Tickets start in the triple digits, with proceeds from the game going to the Obama Victory Fund to support the President's 2012 re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

The Obama Classic Basketball Game, announced on BarackObama.com, is expected to feature NBA and WNBA stars past and present.
Please join us in Washington, DC for a game featuring basketball's greatest super stars in support of the Obama Victory Fund.

Confirmed to play: Ray Allen - Carmelo Anthony - Chris Bosh - Vince Carter - Tyson Chandler - Jamal Crawford - Kevin Durant - Baron Davis - Patrick Ewing - Derek Fisher - Rudy Gay - Blake Griffin - Tyler Hansbrough - Dwight Howard - Juwan Howard - Antawn Jamison - Dahntay Jones - Brandon Knight - Kevin Love - Jamal Mashburn - Cheryl Miller - Reggie Miller - Alonzo Mourning - Dikembe Mutombo - Chris Paul - Quentin Richardson - Doc Rivers - Steve Smith - Jerry Stackhouse - Amare Stoudemire - Tina Thompson - John Wall - Russell Westbrook. More players to be added soon! 
Tickets for the game start at $100 and escalate to $5,000 for courtside seats. The venue is currently listed as "to be announced."

Obama, a huge basketball fan, has said in recent months that the ongoing NBA lockout has left him "heartbroken" and "concerned." Asked recently if he planned to intervene in the NBA's ongoing labor dispute, Obama said that he "wouldn't intercede" because he has "some bigger fish to fry."

I guess putting the still-unemployed players to work fundraising for a president re-election campaign technically counts as frying a bigger fish. The message here: ask not what the President can do for your job, NBA players, ask only what you can do for the President's job. 

But, seriously, if this is anything like the Carrier Classic -- a college basketball game played on an aircraft carrier that Obama and his wife attended on Veteran's Day -- then it will be all sorts of awesome.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 7:52 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 10:06 pm

President Obama 'won't intercede' in NBA lockout

Posted by Ben Golliverbarack-obama-jacket

Ask not what your country can do for the NBA. Seriously. Because it plans to do nothing.

United States President Barack Obama has said recently that the ongoing NBA lockout has left him "heartbroken" and that he is "concerned" that the league will lose the entire 2011-2012 season. Nevertheless, he does not plan to help the league's owners and players reach a compromise in their current labor struggle.

The New York Times reports that Obama, speaking from a high-profile college basketball game on Friday, says that he is staying out of it.
Asked about the impasse between the NBA owners and players, Mr. Obama quipped, “It’s killing me.” But he said, “I’m not going to intercede. I’ve got some bigger fish to fry.”

“In a contest between billionaires and millionaires,” Mr. Obama said, “they should be able to figure out how to divvy up their profits in a way that serves their fans, who are allowing them to be making all this money — not to mention all the folks who work in the concession stands and in the parking lots of facilities all across the country.”
Aside from his fish frying point -- and there's no question that there are more important issues than professional basketball facing the world today -- entering the lockout morass represents a lose/lose/lose situation for Obama.

If he's been following the day-by-day non-progress carefully, he realizes that he would be dealing with two sides that are fairly well dug in and dead set on their visions of the sport's economics. Crafting a miracle compromise is unlikely. Guess who takes the blame if there's a lost season in that situation? Not the players, not the owners, not even NBA commissioner David Stern. Obama does. The buck always stops there.

But let's say there is a deal. However it's crafted, there are bound to be winners and losers. In all likelihood, the owners will be winners and the players, already having promised billions in concessions, will be losers. Obama, the people's champion, would then open himself up to criticism that he co-signed a new collective bargaining agreement that favored big money interests and not the common man. He does have a presidential re-election campaign to run after all.  

Lastly, entering the NBA mess would take real commitments of time and, likely, money. Given his reputation as a well-known hoops head, critics would jump at the opportunity to say that Obama is putting basketball ahead of (pick your favorite issue out of a list of thousands that people passionately care about). A President, of course, must appear to be of, by and for the people, not just himself or his friends.

Put it all together and Obama is damned if he tries, damned if he succeeds and damned if he fails. As Commander in Chief, he has the luxury of picking his battles. It makes sense that he would run from this one.
Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:35 am
Edited on: October 26, 2011 3:39 am

Barack Obama 'concerned' NBA could lose season

Posted by Ben Golliver


The Commander-in-chief wants his hoops, and he's starting to get nervous that he might not get them this season.

Appearing on the Tonight Show with host Jay Leno in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, United States President Barack Obama answered questions about Muammar Gaddafi, ending the Iraq War and Occupy Wall Street, but he also took a moment to let the national television audience know that he believes it is high time the NBA and its players reach an agreement to end the ongoing lockout.

Obama called the league's current labor impasse "heartbreaking" -- the same word he recently used in Florida shortly after the NBA cancelled the first two weeks of its regular season -- and suggested that the NBA's players and owners turn to the National Football League, who reached its own new labor deal in time to save the 2011-2012 season, for guidance.

"If you look at the NFL, they were able to settle theirs," Obama said. "I think they understood: 'Players we're making millions of dollars, owners some of us are worth billions of dollars, we should be able to figure out how to split a nine billion dollar pot so that our fans, who are allowing us to make all of this money, can actually have a good season.' I think the owners and the basketball players need to think the same way."

Leno then asked if Obama, a noted basketball aficonado, was worried that the entire season might be lost.

"I'm concerned about it," the President admitted. "They need to just remind themselves that the reason they are so successful is because a whole bunch of folks out there love basketball. Basketball has actually done well, but these kinds of lockouts, a lot of times it takes a long time to recover."

NBA labor talks broke down on Thursday, but representatives from the league and the National Basketball Players Association are expected to resume negotiations in small groups on Wednesday in New York City.

Photo credit: NBC Broadcast
Posted on: October 13, 2011 9:17 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 9:20 pm

Tiger Woods 'bummed' by NBA lockout

Posted by Ben Gollivertiger-woods-emo

His marriage is wrecked and his golf game is in shambles, but that isn't what has Tiger Woods feeling down in the dumps these days. Nope, Woods is singing the blues because of the ongoing NBA lockout.

CSNNE.com reports that Woods took some time out this week to express his frustration with the fact that the NBA has cancelled the first two weeks of its regular season, with no end to the labor bickering in sight.
“Yeah, of course I'm bummed,” he said. “I think anybody who is an NBA fan is certainly bummed. I know that probably one person who is happy is probably Doc Rivers. I mean, with the age of his team, it's nice for them to only play half-a-season. It's true. It's a fact, come on.”

"I'm looking forward to the Lakers getting back there and we'll see what they do,” he continued. “The problem is, you can't talk to anybody. You can't see who is potentially on the block of being traded, what kind of deals can we do? Nothing can be happening.

“So as a fan, it's disconcerting because I'm excited about what we could add to the team, but it's also I understand this is business, and everyone in this business wants to make money. I know the owners were losing a bunch of money, and some of the markets were feeling the effects. They can't draw certain players, so they're just trying to make it fair for everybody so everybody can win.”
Woods' basketball buddies were worried about him even before he admitted to being down and out because of the lack of hoops. Back in July, Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said that Woods "needs to get healthy, mentally and physically" and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said in August that he is "very concerned" about Woods because he surrounds himself with the wrong type of people. 

Whatever you do, don't let Woods know that Derek Fisher and Steve Blake will still be running point for the Lakers whenever this lockoug gets resolved. We don't want him to have an emotional crisis.

Woods isn't even the most recognizable person to complain about the NBA lockout this week. On Tuesday, United States President Barack Obama said he was 'heartbroken' because of the lockout. As with Obama, I'm sure you can't wait to write in the comments how these comments make Woods an unbelievably sympathetic figure and that you can't help but feel sorry for him.

Hat tip: IAmAGM.com
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