February 15th, 2009
02:27 PM ET
9 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. Leona - Canada

    What an interesting perspective....I appreciated Steve Nash's comments....and of course the rest of the guests...shows the public that they are fully aware of the financial crisis and job losses ( now appearing in Canada) and have an understanding that the changes needed to take place is going to take time....and they also have game!

    February 15, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. fearful for my country

    Oh please. He plays like a girl. Why are we discussng this on a NEWS source?

    February 15, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  3. Jon

    This is so stupid.

    February 15, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Jeema

    This appears only to be a MSM diversion to draw attention away from an imploding presidency.

    February 15, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. ME N WV

    I Love You Barack!


    Not the White Lady 🙂

    February 15, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  6. Ernie in LA

    Obama needs to put the ball down, grow up and act like the president. America did not elect him to spend his time with a ball. He has a lot of promises to keep. Seems he is always playing ball, talking on his Blackberry, flying in his "Spiffy ride or standing behind one of his appointees with a confused look on his face because they did not pay their taxes.

    February 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. obambi

    Why doesn't this guy quit trying to be a "star" of everything that appeals to the young and stay home and try to run the country? So far, he has let his underlings take all the falls and keeps himself above it all. We want do not need a rock star–we have enough of those. He is starting to look irresponsible. He likes airforce one spiffy ride so much, he is creating more carbon footprints than Al Gore with his mansion and private jet plane fuel.

    February 15, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  8. david

    the masses did not vote for obama because of his basketball skills be they good or bad. obama needs to be working 14/7, until further notice, at his job as potus since the country is in the worst economy since the great depression.

    February 15, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. Marie

    Give me a break...he plays basketball for exercise and stress relief. Who cares how good his moves are? If he were trying to become a professional player I could understand the critique. It is really sad for people to obsess over how good they are at a recreational activity.

    February 15, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Larry

    He slam dunked our futures and threw the game for the opposing team.How could anybody with children,change the rules so we can only lose in the future.Why aren't we building a better team ?

    February 15, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Anonymous

    I'm sure that it will be a great source of release from tension at this time. Enjoy your game, Mr. President – we (my family and friends) love you!

    February 15, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Jeema

    Every time Obama stumbles CNN throws up a diversionary story on its main page. This thime it is repeating the Alaska story, FALSE as it may be.

    February 15, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |

    He is pretty good, I think.

    February 15, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. LIndsay Thompson

    I am watching John King's "State of the Union" right now - John and company all spun up with the NONSTORY of Obama's failure to be bipartisan and problems with the appointment process.

    What is the matter with you guys? Don't you have any memory? This kind of stuff happens with every new administration.

    First: What do you expect the Republicans to do to get back power? Play nice with the new Democrat administration? When did the Republicans join the Obama fan club? And why would you ever be surprised that the Republicans are acusing Obama of partisanship in passing the stimulus bill? Of course that is what they are doing. They want to keep flexing their muscle, undermine Obama's leadership, and get their power back. Stop playing into their bickersome hands. There is NO NEWS in the fact that they are being obstructive. That is what they do. Move on to something more interesting and noteworthy. And I am sick and tired of hearing all these opinion and speculation stories about motives airing as if they were either news or fact. STOP!

    Second: On the apointment process. Do you remember the first few months of the Bush and Clinton administrations? Same stuff. Just get over it - it is a messy process. Get away from your green rooms and make-up artists and designer suits and do some real investigation. Try going to a library and reading some history. Try wikipedia - stop all this phony magnification of shared ignorance.

    February 15, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. The Last Patriot

    Question for John King – At some point will we get a full analysis of that trillion dollars that was just absconded from the US taxpayer? I know the president's free throw form is important, but just hoped we'd get to other topics as well. Thanks.

    February 15, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Joe

    "They" do like basketball, and it is Black History month.

    I'm waiting for either abolition of the "Racist" Month or adoption of an equal time "White" History month, from the same Democrats revisiting the "Fairness Doctrine".

    February 15, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Obama Cares

    i hope President Obamas enthusiasm will help America to get off the couch, we have too many couch potatoes.

    February 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Jeema

    Most of CNN's ticker stories could have been written by the White House. That needs to change. If it doesn't the public is going to demand equal access to the ticker and all other CNN sites to create stories that are diverse, not just those primarily written to support the White House.

    February 15, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Jeema

    Don of Iowa – good lord man, your lord and savior and his diciples are in full control of the government. In fact the Democrat party has controlled congress for the last 2 years. They have bought the economy. And Barry has until mid-summer to turn things around our we will be demanding his resignation.

    February 15, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Dina

    Wow sounds like a lot of against Obama blog. Work hard play hard.. As the man has done more than most presidents in his short time in office. I think seeing him "play" as well is a good example for all people. There can be fun while working hard and long hours.. Some people might want to take that lesson home with them

    February 15, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Steve

    Wow. We have really dumbed ourselves down as a nation. We deserve whatever we get. I just shudder to think about what will remain for our kids.

    Good job, John King! Maybe an article on Obama's favorite movies or which leg does he put in his pants first. Those would both be facinating and insightful stories.

    February 15, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Norman

    Mr president when considering the immigration bill please keep in mind that all men are born free indivisible by God

    February 15, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    More lowbrow Obama PR, completely irrelevant, pandering to Black Americans and sports nuts.

    February 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. LIndsay Thompson

    More on bipartisanship -

    Now I'm watching the interview with John McCain -

    Major Point: The Obama administration is not sitting down with the Republicans to do it their way because the American people voted the Republican way OUT - your are framing Obama's responsibility as if he were supposed to work cooperatively in a give-and-take manner with the Republicans when, in fact, what the American people voted for was to see him do things differently. Americans WANT the Democratic values of more money and resources invested in people, jobs, economic, social, and technological infrastructure - all the things that make life better for real Americans. Republicans have been neglecting those investments for years - and the Obama win - along with the Democratic wins in the House and Senate - are a clear message that the American people are fed up with a government that serves the rich and the privileged while ignoring the needs of the ordinary - all the while touting a vacuous rhetoric of and "ownership society" -

    You need a different kind of reporting and thought leadership. To begin with, get beyond the naive assumption that there are just two sides to every issue by bringing in a Democrat and Republican voice in predictable contrapuntal harmony. The world of public policy is filled with complexity, context, and interconnectedness. The Dem/Rep/liberal/conservative framing is tired and obsolete. Get a new frame. Get some new people. And get some people who have read, who know something, and have more to recommend them intellectually than nice hair, pretty faces, and bland personalities.

    February 15, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Jeema

    If "the bill" was urgent why hasn't he signed it ? Why is CNN not trumpeting that in its headlines ?

    February 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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