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. sharon

    LOL Joe.

    February 15, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Susan DeLaney

    I watch CNN 24/7 and I was very offended about a half hour ago when John King referred to President Obama as Mr. Obama. During the eight years when President Bush was president, did they ever refer to him as Mr. Bush. It's all about respect!

    February 15, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Meka

    IT'S GREAT, TO FINALLY SEE, AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT . . . WHOM CAN MULTI-TASK!

    February 15, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  4. dittohead with forty names

    Im lost with my daily talking points from my messiah,Rush Limbaugh.He promised to take me to the promised land of great wealth,free cigars and oxys and how to hide my money in offshore bank accts.

    February 15, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Jean

    Thank you!

    Thank you!

    Thank you!

    February 15, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Hulio

    how funny !!

    February 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. SC

    You get a little. You need this. So far, you have done good job pushing the rescue package diligently. Congrats!

    February 15, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Susan

    It's great he likes to play basketball. He's more 'down to earth' than a lot of politicians.

    February 15, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Dawn

    I love to play HORSE, Does anyone have something that relieves stress? I love to write, he love to play Basketball, some people loves to walk, some people loves to fix cars and so on.

    To any blogger here do you have a better plan to make our economy grow, please go on the White House web sight and you can write to President Obama.

    With all this negativity and no energy? I am wondering has any Scientist every looked at what we have an abundance of and that is garbage, I mean the stuff you throw out to convert that into energy. Just a thought. LOL

    February 15, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  10. jim

    Joe, you nit-wit, every month is white history month.

    February 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  11. LindainAtlanta

    Frankly, I dont think that the American people should care about what that fraud in the WH thinks about basketball or what the professional players would think about him. Waste of our time!!

    MR NO should be afraid of US, the voters....Cut the crap, MR NO and do something that will actually have a positive impact on the living standards of the poor and middle class of this country. If you can not control members of your own party, you have shown yourself to be a failure before you even got started, that is called "here piggy, piggy" with all your PORK!

    Who cares about this man's so called "popularity", he has no experience, has now shown those of us who can read, that his picks for a number of high level positions were faulty at best – and that is giving him a bit of credit..... which this writer will never do. This man and his cronies will kill this country, not lift it up!!!

    Promises of change???? Wake me up when he is GONE...

    February 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  12. Franky

    Man, the only game he should work on is on Commander-in-Chief. As far as I'm concerned, my boy MJ, coach Ditka, coach Phil, and everybody who had success here, even our greatest president ever, they ALL worked hard! As far as I'm concerned, he's doing a good job, I like the balance not just with the economy, but how he's handling the region in the Middle East and Asia by sending Hillary first, now that I like. And I may not be a big fan of the bill but overall, all I know people are gonna be happy, I'm happy, so I ain't gonna bother with it. Never hated on the bill, just on the people, why? Because I know for a FACT I'm gonna come later in the next months and say..."I told you so." You know, is my thang, LOL!!

    Watch, we're gonna be a bigger dynasty than John Wilkes Booth NEVER, EVER imagined, LOL!!!

    February 15, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. Palm Beach, Florida

    He needs to get his mind off of basketball and get his can back to
    Washington and the oval office where he should be.

    He is starting to make me crazy with all these trips on his spiffy ride
    and I voted for him.

    February 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. arona

    @ joe

    "They" would cringe if they had a white history month.

    February 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Frank

    Yes.......Most white folks can understand this behavior. The coloreds
    have always excelled with things "round". basketball, football,baseball, and yes even "watermelons".

    February 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. pakuna

    the NBA can have him. Give the people our White House back.

    February 15, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  17. ari from virginia

    If in basketball he cannot perform like the NBA players,

    I think it would be fair for him to critique the NBA players for their economic and foreign policy abilities.

    "A professional is someone that makes a hard thing look easy"

    Mr. President, YOU are a professional leader, and you are doing it very well!!!

    if basketball will help you lead the country, get him a court at the white house, for goodness sake... what ever it takes to lead us out of this mess the previous administration got us into!!!

    February 15, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  18. typical

    to "fearful for my country" at 11:43am

    That's a pretty sexist comment. Not that I'd expect more from a Republican.

    February 15, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Brad of IL.

    Leave it only too the Racist Obamanites . A joke of a President , Senate, and Congress. There will be change come 2010. This is American's wake up call. This whole spending bill should have been used for nothing but providing jobs . No tax breaks, no pork spending, no welfare add on , no unemployment extension. Jobs would create Taxes that this Gov. could use for what ever would be generated and people could pay there bills. That $ 13.00 we will get a week would hardly provide for a family with-out a Job. President Clinton understood that and it worked. Put people to work or this Admin. will have a hard time holding any office . I as a Democrat will make a better decision about my next vote.

    February 15, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  20. Steve

    Obama's presidency – AIR BALL!

    February 15, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. dimes1

    Nice fluff piece, I am sure by his publicist, to distract us from his imperfect (his own words) stimulus package.

    February 15, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. cam cam

    I cant beleave all the people that aretalking about black and white give me a break. And i cant beleave people talking about basketball at a time like this when there are people with no jobs. we all need to stick together.

    February 15, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Linda in MS

    To Joe:

    You sound like one truly pathetic individual. I'll bet you are just choking on your own bile because a white man lost the election. People like you make me ashamed to be white, and I honestly have a hard time understanding why so many black people haven't given up entirely on us.

    February 15, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. john

    It would be better if obama would quit playing basketball stop campaigning and start doing his job. Wake up America

    February 15, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Richie

    What is up with this? Who critiqued George Bush's brush clearing or Bill Clintons sax or any of the other various and sundry pasttimes presidents have? This strikes me as a possibly racist attempt to put down a very popular and accomplished president. Why would CNN do this? Wanna pick up some more red neck viewers perhaps? Let's stick to commenting on Obama's "day job".

    February 15, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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