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