Category Archives: Obama and Sports

LeBron James returns to Cleveland

It is one of the most highly anticipated yet meaningless December basketball games in recent memory. Tonight, LeBron James will “take his talents to Cleveland” as a member of the Miami Heat.

As I said at the time, I have no problems whatsoever with the three of them deciding to team up. I was in the minority and didn’t really have a problem with the concept of “The Decision” prime time special. I also seem to be in the minority as far as their 2010-11 season is concerned. So many people have already written this team off. They are hovering around the .500 mark but why are people forgetting that the season isn’t even a quarter of way done yet? Would people really be shocked if they went 48-15 the rest of the way? This team has more than enough time to put together a good season and have a great playoff run.

I am not a Miami Heat fan, as a matter of fact I despise Pat Riley and never really liked Alonzo Mourning. I am a Raptors fan who lost Chris Bosh to this team. Yet, I find myself rooting for this team just because everyone else isn’t.

Even Barack Obama was asked about tonight’s game. 

How will the Cleveland crowd react tonight? Lets just hope they take somewhat of a high road and not embarrass their city. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see them boo LeBron all night long for the rest of his career (Vince Carter still hears boos in Toronto) but don’t disrupt the game. Keep your expletives to yourselves and don’t humiliate yourself on national television.

How will LeBron react tonight? He could go a long way towards calming things down today if he doesn’t come out in a confrontational mode. He needs to just let his play do the talking or it could get really ugly tonight. Who knows, if he goes off for 50 points tonight in a masterful performance he might even get some of the crowd back on his side. Regardless of the crowd reaction LeBron MUST act like the better man or he will face a major backlash from the media and possibly the fans around the league. He can not let the crowd get under his skin. LeBron James will either drop 60 points on the Cavs tonight or go 2–19 from the field. There is no middle ground.

There will be a heavier security presence tonight at the Q. How ugly do some in the league think tonight will be? The Heat travel plans for this have been kept secret.

In Cleveland, LeBron is now known as “Queen James”

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert is on twitter. Looking forward to read what he has to say tonight. He did make a plea to the fans,

CavsFans: Remember 2 most import things 2nite: 1. That City, Fans, & all of us be our ‘finest’ w/eyes of world watching. 2. We get the WIN!

Who can forget his letter to Cleveland when LeBron left? 
Sports Illustrated provides a flashback to some recent “homecomings.” How about these pictures from Cleveland?
Any predictions for tonight? ESPN’s Streak for the Cash asks if LeBron will have more points tonight then the  Cavaliers will have field goals. I certainly would not rule that out as a possibility. It will be the first time this season that I will tune in to the start of an NBA game. The game tips off shortly after 8 PM Eastern on TNT. 

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Obama needs 12 stitches after being hit in lip

I’ve written about Barack Obama’s love for basketball in the past. He squeezes in a couple of hours of basketball on a fairly regular basis. While playing today he got elbowed in the face and received 12 stitches as a result of it. 

The White House released a statement today from the man who elbowed him. Rey Decerega, who works for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute said, 

“I learned today the president is both a tough competitor and a good sport. I enjoyed playing basketball with him this morning. I’m sure he’ll be back out on the court again soon.” 

The injury should make for interesting late night fodder in the next week. What is the over/under on the number of comedians and pundits who will question if Mr. Decerega is a Republican? Obama himself will surely make a joke about this when he meets Congressional Republicans next week.  

The Associated Press posted a picture of Obama putting a ice pack on his lips

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Saints have yet to visit White House |

There is a lot of ceremonial stuff that happens at the White House. As a sports fan though one of the coolest ones for me is when sports teams are honored at the White House. 

If you haven’t noticed yet, the New Orleans Saints have not yet visited the White House in honor of their Super Bowl win this year. Mike Florio of “Pro Football Talk” is reporting today that the delay is to be blamed on Saints owner Tom Benson. It should be noted that Tom Benson is a Republican. He’s backed both George W. Bush and John McCain in their Presidential bids. He’s also donated generously to the GOP.  

This is pretty low isn’t it? I can even excuse him somewhat for not wanting to go to the White House but why has he not flown his team to Washington yet? Heck, Barack Obama like most of the country hopped on the Saints bandwagon this past season. Has anyone else heard anything on this lately? Has any other owner tried something similar recently? I can’t recall one.

Read Mike Florio’s full story on this. Saints have yet to visit White House |

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Obama is watching Strasburg vs his White Sox tonight.

The White House Press Corps is buzzing on twitter tonight. Barack Obama is at the Nationals game tonight as they face his beloved Chicago White Sox.

Hats off to Mike Memoli, he was the first one I saw ask a week or so if Obama was going to make a trip to this Nationals game tonight. It is the perfect night for him to show up at the ballpark. Not only is his favorite team in town, it is also “Strasmas.” If you don’t follow baseball “Strasmas” is the name given to each start made by the young star Stephen Strasburg who has taken the baseball world by storm.

Anyone know whether this is the first time his family has accompanied him to a sporting event since he became President? Obama’s love for sports is well documented including at this blog. Now I know that a certain segment of the population will be up in arms over Obama enjoying himself while the Oil Spill is going on but those are the same people who will complain about anything and everything this man does. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised if they complain about the amount of oxygen he takes in on an average day!

By the way, how lucky is Sam Youngman of “The Hill”? He was the pool reporter for Obama’s opening day trip to Nationals Park as well. One of the great perks of the job.

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Baracketology 2010

If you missed it on ESPN about 20 minutes ago they revealed Barack Obama’s NCAA Mens Tournament bracket. Just like they did last year, ESPN posted a PDF of Obama’s original bracket too.

Barack Obama did correctly pick UNC as the National Champions last year.

Make sure to watch the video from today’s segment.

The President will return to ESPN Friday morning during the 9 AM Sportscenter to talk about his Womens tournament bracket with Doris Burke. ESPN did put up his Womens Tournament bracket already though.

Are there any good NCAA Tournament related books out there that are worth a read? I’ve heard good reviews of the Larry Bird/Johnson book “When the Game Was Ours“, has anyone out there ready it? Same applies to “When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball by Seth Davis?

If you play NCAA Mens or Women Bracket Challenges on Yahoo or ESPN get in touch with me. I am running groups on both.

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When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball When the Game Was Ours

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Barack Obama and the NCAA Tournament

Barack Obama’s love of sports is well documented. The man is a genuine fan and not a phony celebrity sports fan. As is well known by now, Basketball is his favorite sports. ESPN announced today that the President will return to their network tomorrow for the 2nd straight year to reveal his bracket. ESPN entered his entry last year into their online Tournament Challenge. He will also be on ESPN on Thursday to reveal his Womens Tournament Bracket with Doris Burke.

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Barack Obama at the Duke/Georgetown Game

Everyone knows that Barack Obama is a big sports fan. Everyone also knows that he is an even bigger basketball fan. I have written about it in the past. This afternoon a large contingent from the West Wing (the real one….not the TV show) made the short trek to the Verizon Center to catch Georgetown/Duke from courtside.

We see politicians and celebrities all the time pretend to be sports fans but it really is nice to see some genuine ones come along. This isn’t Martha Coakley being a fake Red Sox fan. This isn’t even Whoopi Goldberg pretending to be a New York Giants fan.  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this man loves his sports.

Obama didn’t show much rooting interest on the sidelines but I was fully expecting him to be rooting for the hometown Hoyas. Everyone remembers Coach K. attacking the President last year when Obama picked Duke arch rivals University of North Carolina to win it all. His personal aide, Reggie Love is a former Duke basketball player. His Communications director Dan Pfeiffer is a former Hoyas’ player (didn’t actually step on the court though). The President actually went to the broadcasting table to join CBS broadcasters Verne Lundquinst and Clark Kellogg for a little play by play. The President brought his funny with him too. When Kellogg mentioned his Ohio State team beating Obama’s brother in law Greg Robinson, Obama quickly shot back saying that Ohio State should not be bragging about beating an Ivy League (Princeton) team! Obama also told Clark Kellogg (who he called the best color man in the business) that he was coming after his job in “three or seven years”.

The President was joined at the game by Vice President Joe Biden, Personal Aide Reggie Love, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer, Advisor David Axelrod Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and the Vice President’s son Hunter. I’m sure there were other people present too but these were the people I saw.

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The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream (Vintage)Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and InheritanceBy the People: The Election of Barack ObamaLeading with the Heart: Coach K's Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and LifeBeyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for SuccessThe Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team

Barack Obama and Reggie Love

By now unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere you should know that Barack Obama is a big time basketball fan. Not only does he watch basketball, he plays a lot of basketball. It has been well documented on Twitter too where Christina Bellantoni of “Talking Points Memo” created the brilliant hashtag called “#potuslovessports

Some of you might be aware that the President is holding another pickup game today. I’m guessing that came up in today’s press briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Watch the video to see what happened.

Obama playing hoops, blocking a shot by aide Reggie Love (Whi... on Twitpic

Reggie Love for those who aren’t aware of it is the personal aide to the President. The “body man” as they are called. If you’re a “West Wing” nerd like me you’ll make the immediate connection to “Charlie.” This is what Reggie Love does. What makes this basketball story better is that Reggie Love actually played for Duke. He was part of a pretty loaded Duke team that won a national title. A total of 5 players from the team ended up going to the NBA.

Saw another piece on Obama and Basketball today. ABC did a little reporting and wants to know why there have been no women involved in these pickup games?

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NCAA Tournament

How is everyone’s bracket shaping up? I ended up with three 1s and a 2 in the Final Four. I have a couple of groups going on ESPN and Yahoo. If you’re interested send me an e-mail.

Andy Katz keeps getting nice basketball exclusives with President Obama. First it was the election day basketball game with then Candidate Obama. As part of that Obama agreed to fill out a NCAA Tournament bracket for ESPN. They actually put up his original bracket too.

ESPN actually submitted the entry from POTUS into their Tournament Challenge.