February 15th, 2009
02:27 PM ET
5 years ago

Aide: Scrutiny from NBA greats would make Obama 'nervous'

There are very few days that I don’t see, at some point in the day, the President either handling or dribbling a basketball, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday.
There are very few days that I don’t see, at some point in the day, the President either handling or dribbling a basketball, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday.

(CNN) - Basketball is one of President Barack Obama’s primary stress relievers, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. In fact, the President plans to spend some time on the court this weekend with friends in Chicago, Gibbs said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

Basketball “is a big part of his life,’ Gibbs told Chief National Correspondent John King.

“There are very few days that I don’t see, at some point in the day, the President either handling or dribbling a basketball.”

“It helps him get some exercise and relieve some stress. For a little bit of time, he can think about something different,” added Gibbs.

Armed with footage of Obama playing hoops, Chief National Correspondent John King asked some NBA greats to put the President’s game under a microscope.

The thought of several NBA legends deconstructing his skills on the hardwood is enough to make the new Commander-in-Chief a bit nervous, Gibbs said Sunday.

Watch: NBA legends on Obama's game

“I can only imagine that if I were to call him now, he’d be a little nervous that people like Bill Russell were going to critique his game,” Gibbs told King. “That’s pretty serious.”

soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. jaye

    I think it would be wonderful if President Obama would build the basketball court at the White House and have weekly basketball games for school kids. Imagine the effect it would have on those children to go to the White House and play basketball with our President. The stipulation would be that you must have good grades in order to participate. I imagine school scores would go up considerably.

    February 15, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  2. Proud American

    heck, we all know that.....telling the TRUTH!

    February 15, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Ken in NC

    Well at least he is not hunting with fromer Vice President "What's His Name" and shooting people. All he is shooting here is a basketball.

    February 15, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. pete

    How completely shallow can this go?

    February 15, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. pete

    CNN, that means you as well as the Obama team.

    February 15, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. honest

    I hope he doesn't bounce a basketball inside his home, especially at night. I hate it when my son does that. Other than that, whichever sports helping him to relieve stress are all good!

    February 15, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  7. Dave

    would that there had been professionals critiquing W Bush's professinal political game these last 8 years. perhaps we wouldn't be in half the mess we are in.

    February 15, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  8. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    A stimulus bailout without including the banks makes America nervous!!! Another day, more bad news, more nerves, whatever!!!

    February 15, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    Oh give me a break from this drivel reporting. Come 2013 Obama can play all the basketball he wants to.

    February 15, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. Lorna Hanson Forbes

    I know what makes Barack Hussein Obama, Junior nervous and it is not mentioned in the foolish article-honestly CNN don't you have better to do?

    February 15, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Larry Buchas

    President Obama would beat any Republican in Washington in selling his plan or on a basketball court.

    The man is the definition of "cool and swagger." Those NBA greats realize it too.

    GOBAMA!

    February 15, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  12. dittohead with forty names

    Catherine Austin Fitts could give him some great pointers on making the basket.

    February 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. Griff

    It does not matter... This Guy has had to much Arogance-Egotism-
    Flatter Himself... He is just a Big-Head. I can do what I wan't with "YOUR" Cash. I am the President!!!

    February 15, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. ron

    CMON CNN!! Focus. Your a news company.

    February 15, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. Humored In Texas

    Maybe we should compare the scholastic accomplishments of the NBA players versus President Obama's?

    Now, who's nervous?! Or........would the players know the difference?!

    February 15, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  16. Jumpshot

    Looks to me like President Obama's on his A game with just about everything he does. The Republican's are haters and losers. They have bankrupted the country morally and financially.

    February 15, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. Bill

    Obama has mad skillz on and off the court. Finally, a president that knows what hard work is whatever he does.

    Finally a president that came up the ranks the hard way and didn't have every break thrown his way from the coach, family and "connections." He knows what what are going through. He has the moves.

    Nice job, corrupt Republicans, who would not give the U.S. a single vote on the stimulus because there were not enough tax breaks for your friends/political contributors. You stripped out $16B for education/school construction because you want to keep people dumb and afraid as usual. Oh, but there was a turnover! Go team Obama!

    Here's hoping you lose 10 more Senate seats in 2010 and your backwards party goes extinct.

    Why? Because you got NO GAME.

    Good riddance.

    February 15, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. carolflowery

    yep, Gov Sarah Palin loves basketball too...she works hard and plays hard. yep, we had to hurry some senator back to dc from his dying mother's funeral week so we could all watch obama play ball for the next 3 days, aint we cool

    February 15, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  19. Margie Glover

    President Obama, How about nominating Magic Johnson as Sec of Commerce. He has a proven business background and is wildly pouplar. Please stop trying to passify disgruntled Republicans by nominating one of them. Go Magic!!!

    February 15, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Mike - Houston

    I wonder if it makes him as nervous as we get knowing that Obama is the President.

    February 15, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. amsbuffalo

    Pres. Obama has skill on the court. but its not his day job. leave that to the pros. I must say after last night celeb all star game, I'd put Pres. Obama against any of them! any day..t.o.(o.k. dunk) chris tucker(bad jmp shot), this all star weekend Pres. Obama will be All Star MVP.he can dribble a lot of issues at once.

    February 15, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. Independent_me

    Not to worry, Mr. President... you are better at it than most of us.
    Relax and enjoy the game...you'll need it to relieve the mountain of stress that the Republicans are planning for you up ahead...

    February 15, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  23. Pat F

    The basketball presidency. How dignified.

    February 15, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. tracey curtis

    CNN - I really hope you meant "White HOUSE press secretary Robert Gibbs", rather than "White Press Secretary Gibbs" in the caption. That is what you meant, right?

    February 15, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Don of Iowa

    What would make Obama 'nervous' is the same thing that would make all of us nervous, the USA being run by a bunch of brainless and ignorant arrogant bigots called the GOP, Greedy Old Pigs, that is enough to make even most Republicans nervous and certainly the rest of the world. We can all only be very happy this is NOT a concern for the next 4 years and probably well beyond that, the day of the ignorant arrogant Greedy Old Pig bigot running the country is over for now and will probably be over for many many years to come as they just cannot seem to pull their heads out of their behinds and come into the 21st century like the rest of us but insist on remaining in the 19th century where they have been in thier entire existence. They are beyond any use or common sense whatsoever and it is time they become just another part of lost history, gone and almost forgotten, but then they are almost there now arent they, God Bless America, he took care of the bane of the free world.

    February 15, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
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