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. Joe

    We are in the middle of "one of"America's greatest crisis' and John King is talking about Obama's basketball game???? Truly unbelievable...It infuriates me that this could be of any interest whatsoever during these times. Lets talk about Obama's STIMULUS GAME!

    February 15, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. manhandler

    CNN was always Obamas propaganda arm from the time he first entered the race . They're gushing little slobbering coverage of him has always been one of the most pathetic, sickening spectacles in the anals of history. What's the next headline gonna be? "OBAMA USES GOLD SILK TOILET PAPER!" "OBAMA DOESN'T NEED FOOD, HE LIVES OFF OF VICTORY" I think all the CNN staff should gather outside the Whitehouse every morning and genuflect for a half hour.

    February 15, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. Jon

    @Joe

    You nailed it. And like you, still waiting for that "White History Month".

    February 15, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  4. Mike

    If the media had given that much and that kind of attention to, say, George W. Bush we never would have seen a second term. We might have even stayed out of Iraq. He would have been frozen to death, unable to function, a breakfast president who locks the doors to the Oval Office and sleeps in the WH bunker. Is that how you want President Obama to be, CNN? Are you on Rush Limbaughs mailing list?

    February 15, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. lisa

    What makes him nervous? Trying to keep his promises to the American people, trying to create a bipartisan bill, trying to remain honest and transparent. I would be nervous to if I promised people so much that I have no idea how to follow through on.

    February 15, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  6. Veronica

    Hey Joe,

    EVERY month is White History Month. That's why Black History Month was founded. Very few women and NO Blacks were included in the history books that I learned from. In fact, I sitll have the ONE image of Blacks I saw in a history book when I was in the 8th grade–A group of Black slaves picking cotton. That was it. It's very hard to make history when you grow up thinking you've never been a part of it.

    I know White folks in this country never had that problem, so it's very difficult for them to understand.

    February 15, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  7. Why Do I Read The Comments

    This may seem like a trivial news bite, but there's actually something a little symbolic at work here. A president whose favorite past time is an active sport. As opposed to hunting. Say what you will about hunting, but if Dick Cheney can do it, it's not gonna get the blood pumping.

    February 15, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Dumas McGee

    Obama is the BEST basketball player ever!
    Stop the hate!!

    February 15, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Dumas McGee

    What about his bowling?

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

    I think its awesome that President Obama loves basketball. And i think he actually did build a basketball court in the White House...I think. But its cool that he plays basketball to release stress....and getting some exercise at the same time.

    February 15, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Eddy

    People, relax! Aren't you at least happy the Bushism is gone and we can at least relate to the new President? And it's NBA All Stars weekend.
    Put a basketball court in the WH, bring in some kids picked randomly in schools to come and play, and have a good experience. Those memorable times could impact the life of a kid forever.

    February 15, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  12. Survivor

    Joe: you obiously have never been discrimated against (for real) for hundreds of years – get over it! I can say that, being a woman, and knowing what goes on (oh yes I do know what goes on and esp. about what is said with the sideways glances speaking of people of color – thinking that I agree – NOT!!) Keep up the old white man rhetoric – the times are changing and I thank "God" for that!

    February 15, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. MLH

    While the NBA critiques President Obama's game, maybe we could provide a little cheese to go with the Republican whine Chateau de No Bipartisanship, 2009.

    I think we have gotten a good look at the Republican strategy for the next four years, and I cannot imagine that they believe that obfuscation, stone walling and bleating that they aren't getting it their way is going to help them.

    February 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Matt

    That's a lot of stock in the musings of an aide.

    February 15, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. LM

    Thank you, CNN, for giving us a little diversity in your coverage!

    Yes, we the people like to get to know our President and his family better. We are glad that he is taking care of himself and getting to "de-stress" a little from all the woes of this current presidency.

    This is the worst condition the contry has been in for many decades. And, it's none of his making. We just thank him for being willing to do his best to improve anything he can. He has a mountain of a job and he's doing great so far! (He's done more in 2-3 weeks than the previous administration did to help the people in the last 8 years!!)

    "GO - TEAM OBAMA - GO"

    The true patriots are rooting for you!!!

    February 15, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Rick

    While we are at it Joe, why don't we add Native American Month? At least pay respect to the people we stole the country from......

    What would "White History" month include? Subjugating its native people to reservations, or would it include 60's apartheid? Somehow I think that month would be more of an embarrassment than anything else, and that's coming from a white American.

    February 15, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. Cats

    Obama is a great role model. Suddenly its cool to work hard, study hard, get along well with people outside one's close knit circle, treat others with respect and not derision. The fact that he has the life long enjoyment of a pick up sport encourages us all to get off our couches.

    He's a decent man, a stand up guy, and we should thank our lucky stars he and the many other people working to help our government are willing to do public service.

    February 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Rick

    it'll take a while to clear up the huge mess George W Bush put this country into... In fact, it may take at least a decade to clear up his messes...

    February 15, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. strong

    Obama sucks at bowling. Hope his basketball skills are better. Maybe one of his daughters can teach him.

    February 15, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Rick

    What would "White Month" include Joe? Subjugating America's native peole to reservations, or would it be the apartheid practiced in the 60's.. yes, "White Month" would be something to be proud of... LOL

    February 15, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Joe-is-an-idiot

    Thank God people like Joe are now outnumbered in this country- it's a new era, get with it or get left behind!

    February 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. Sandy

    It'll take more than a few months to correct the mistakes of our former idiot president who lied to us and killed such a large amount of American soldiers.... to pursue his own doctrine...

    Be patient Pres. Obama.... you'll clear up the mess Bush created... Anyone know if he's messing up Texas now?

    February 15, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Joyce Becker

    He is the President of the United States not some professional basketball player, it really doesn't matter how well or badly he plays as he does it to reduce stress and get some exercise. Did anyone ever ask about how well Bush rode his dirt bike, that was also a stress reliever. I agree with jaye about building a basketball court at the White House so school children could join him for some fun playing the game.

    February 15, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  24. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    It is so sad to see the nasty republicans are so ignorant. They are filled with hate and continue to spew it anywhere they can, even about something as lighthearted as basketball. The silver lining is it just gives more power to the democrats for 2010. REMEMBER IT'S "AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL" NOT AMERICA THE UGLY.

    February 15, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. Matthew, Detroit

    Although I don't agree with the president politically, I am happy that he has some stress relief. If you look at Clinton and Bush there is no question that the job is stressful and ages you very quickly. The men who take this on do need a stress relief.

    February 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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