Forget the Venice Beach Courts, forget Rucker Park, forget The Cage. The best pick up basketball on Sunday was at Fort McNair in Washington, where President Obama hosted the dream pick up basketball game for a group of wounded soldiers and members of the White House’s mentoring program. NBA stars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony took the court along with Celtics and NBA legend Bill Russell. (Washington Post)
Obama, who turned 49 on Wednesday, took to the court for a game with a stunning list of all-stars, including Grant Hill, Shane Battier, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Derek Fisher, LeBron James, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Maya Moore, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Bill Russell, Etan Thomas, Dwyane Wade and David West. The game was closed to the media.
Kobe Bryant was there but didn’t play, according to the White House, and aides provided no details about the game, which took place at Fort McNair in the District, where Obama often plays basketball with friends.
Wow, there certainly are perks to being the President of the United States. Obama really pulled off something special for the select few who were able to witness a collection of talent and stardom never before seen on a pick up basketball court. Unfortunately, media members were not allowed into the gym so we won’t know exactly what took place, and how Obama fared against the game’s best. (NBA FanHouse)
The game was played for a group of “wounded warriors” – troops injured in action – and participants in the White House’s mentoring program. It took place at a gym inside Washington’s Fort McNair, a short drive from the White House. The president was inside the gym for about two hours.
The reporters assigned to keep tabs on the president were shut out of the gym, forced to wait in vans outside. Asked why media coverage was blocked, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama “just wanted to play.”
So, naturally, the question must be asked: would you take it easy on Mr. President if you were guarding him in a pick up game? No way in hell I would. I’d be dogging him full-court, talking trash with a KG-like fury. No topic would be off-limits: I’d be talking shit about his inability to pass a health care bill, failed foreign policy, his graying hair, his ugly jump shot, the fact that he couldn’t start for his high school team. Either Obama would respect me for manning up against him, or Secret Service would be dragging me away in handcuffs. Probably the latter, because, as you must’ve learned by now, I don’t know when to shut up.