Not sure if this is the right forum, and I don't want to start any kind of political arguments, but I didn't see this posted and I thought a few of you might be interested.President Obama will test his hoops skills before an important audience and against some big names in professional basketball Sunday afternoon, to coincide with a birthday-weekend barbecue at the White House.
The Phoenix Suns' Grant Hill says he's in town for a presidential pick-up game with the First Basketballer, along with a handful of other pros, including the Houston Rockets' Shane Battier.
Looks like Battier is starting his journey... Battier/Hill 2016?
Well, I see that at least 3 of our guys are playing----all from some of our championship teams----but who else?
i bet battier checks out some of the furniture in the white house......maybe a couple of desks.....gets the lay of the land and what not...
So, here are the list of pros who particiapted-- Battier, Hill, Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups, Derek Fisher, LeBron, Magic, Maya Moore, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Bill Russell, Etan Thomas, Dwyane Wade and David West.
The name that really sticks out is Etan Thomas, a guy who has pretty much been a benchwarmer for his entire NBA career and who would seem to be pretty out of place in that crowd. But, in case you did not know, Thomas is much more than an athlete. He is a published poet with a book of poetry called "More Than an Athlete" to his credit. He is also a big-time Obama supporter and anti-war activist who has spoken at rallies for Obama in places where his NBA and Syracuse pedigree make him popular.
--Jason "interesting mix of folks on the floor" Evans
BTW the OP's link has been updated by the Washington Post. No word, however, on details of the game or whether the "keeper of the Holy Blackberry," Reggie Love, got some burn.
Not to thread-jack or anything, but I thought this was a fairly classless thing to do. Let's play basketball in front on wounded soldiers who can't play.
I have no problem him having some fun on his birthday, but keep it in that perspective, not some event staged for the cameras.
[Info courtesy of the Chicago Tribune/Mike Memoli]
Why did Obama pick a Spaniard as his token white guy? He should have picked an American! He could have picked ... um .... well ... how about ... errr ... ahem ... oh never mind. Well, he should have at least invited Shaquille so there would be an Irishman in attendance!
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."
Thanks for allowing me to add my two cents in about this. As to no press allowed, this has become the norm, per se, for this administration. Press isn't allowed, but then press photos appear. If press wasn't allowed, and this wasn't a 'staged event' then why have photos already appeared? The situation was the same at Biden's house. A wounded warrior event took place with a select group of wounded soldiers invited for a cookout at Biden's house. Since no press was allowed, this sounded like a good event to honor these soldiers. But, when an entire photo spread was included on Food network's magazine, as well as another magazine whose name I do't remember, it makes the comment 'no press allowed' seem contradictory.
Maybe I'm just jaded, but to me it appears as a staged event. I'm sure that anyone would have loved to have seen these guys play, not just these soldiers. I just think this had a political purpose masquerading as not being so, and including soldiers who had been wounded while serving in duty was the wrong approach.
IMHO, if this was just to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers, why not sit on the sidelines with them, watch the pro's play and chat up the soldiers about the game? Throwing yourself into the game makes it not about the pro's, but about you. That was my point.
Last edited by g4orce; 08-09-2010 at 01:30 PM. Reason: added comment for clarity
So now does this mean POTUS will pick Duke to win the 2011 NCAA Tourney?
I was not there, and neither were you, to see how much Obama or the players interacted with the wounded soldiers. I think it is a safe bet that there was plenty of chatting with the soldiers and sitting with them in addition to being on the court for the game. If you choose to take the cynical view that this was an affront to the soldiers, that is fine, but I think most folks will see it as something that genuinely sought to honor these fallen heroes and give them something special.
As for the press attendance and photos being released. I am a former member of the press so I know firsthand that this is standard operating procedure in the White House. With the exception of closed-door meetings, there is an official White House photographer who follows the Prez and takes pics of darn near everything he does. Those photos are made available to the press. The reason the president keeps the press out of some events is so the event can be more natural and relaxed. I am sure everyone in attendance had a better time not having to worry about the press capturing their every utterance and movement.
You can choose to view the world cynically and with suspicion at everyone's motive... but I think it is a lot more fun to dare to imagine that our commander in chief actually cares about wounded soldiers and thought this might be a nice treat for some of them.
--Jason "sure wish I could have been there to watch-- I bet it was waaaay cool" Evans
Did'nt think racism would be a factor here aswell,not 1 single white american NBA past or present player availableMaybe they were all just busy,hmmm.Why did Obama pick a Spaniard as his token white guy? He should have picked an American! He could have picked ... um .... well ... how about ... errr ... ahem ... oh never mind.
Duke 4 life---No excuses!!