Flashback: #POTUS44 and the NBA


How NBA athletes showed their love during Barack Obama’s Presidency.

There’s no secret that Former President Barack Obama was a fan of the game of basketball.

He grew up with the game. As described on Maxpreps.com , “Often shown playing pickup games during his campaign, Obama is reported to have led Occidental College in scoring in 1979; however other reports list him as a member of the JV team, not the varsity. Obama graduated from Punahou High School in Hawaii, which has won 322 state championships, the most of any school in the nation.”

As you can now see, he was quite the ballin’ president. He never missed a chance to invite NBA teams to the White House and even form long lasting connections with some of the players. Here are some quotes from USAToday.com that express his relationship with some of the most famous NBA players and others and how that relationship has impacted their lives.

“Never in a million years did I think I would be this close with a president of the United States with the No.1 biggest position of power in the world,” James told reporters after visiting the White House in November. “We just have a real genuine relationship. We’ve got so many things in common we can talk about, not only from sports but community service and growing up in the inner city and figuring out ways that we can help the youth.” -LeBron James

Imagine being close with the President of the United States? That’s a huge deal even for basketball star LeBron James. As he describes here, they have commonalities outside of sports that they can relate to each other with. LeBron has a foundation in Akron, Ohio that reaches out to the youth and the community and being close with the President could really help to benefit that cause.

Pistons guard Jackson tried to introduce himself to the president, but Obama interrupted, saying, “I know who you are.”

“When you introduce yourself to the president and he tells you he knows you, that was a different moment,” Jackson told reporters. -Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson’s life was apparently changed on this day. Trying to introduce yourself to such high authority and he says that he “already knows who you are” has to be one of the greatest moments to experience. Obama being able to connect with him showed that even though he’s the president, he actually lives life outside of the political world just like anyone else.

“Other than golf to Ike (President Dwight Eisenhower), no game has been as tightly lashed to a president as basketball to Obama,” Wolff wrote. “Nor has any president been so enduringly engaged as both player and follower of so strenuous a sport — certainly no team sport.”- Alexander Wolff

As you can see through these quotes, Former President Barack Obama wasn’t your average president. He had outside interests that helped to relate him to the common person- his love for the sport of basketball. He’s had many teams visit the White House and has even gotten personalized jerseys from some of the teams. He will truly be missed by the NBA for his genuine personality, humor, and knowledge of the game.

Heading image from creativecommons.org


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