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. Dave

    He also is afraid of that bust of Churchill...

    February 15, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. Nick

    If comments are supposedly "moderated", you'd think whoever was moderating would have corrected the error in the photo caption since it was pointed out in the comments!
    Nice work CNN.

    February 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Charles

    look how petty the Republicans on this board are..... this is supposed to be a fluff, feel-good news story, and they have to harp on it...

    One question, where was the whining 6 months ago, 1 year ago, when the country was going down the tubes? Little hypocritcal? You bet!

    February 15, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Charles

    That trillion dollars you mentioned Patriot, went the way with Bush.... look at the cost of Afghanistan and Iraq, and then come back and make an intelligent statement....

    February 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Matthew, Detroit


    Yes jaye that would be a great use of Baracks time. Are you kidding?

    Everyone, if you are going to comment please have something intelligent to say. Do not just sput left wing banter or right wing banter. Try to make an intelligent point.

    February 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Matt

    I seen BO play on tv. And BO stinks it up. He is not good at all. Why is this news? Please tell me how does this affect anybody? He sucks at basketball, he is no better than an intramural college player.

    February 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Steve

    Joe, wouldn't "White History" month just be about murdering and subjugating it's true native people to reservations, or would it be about the apartheid in the 60's? Your KKK mentality is a little out of touch with reality.

    February 15, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Sammy

    Joe, you are the epitome of what is left of "Republican-ness" (read racists)

    February 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Joan

    It is better to keep you mouth shut and let others think you a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    February 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Blake

    I'm SO glad CNN is reporting on things that are important!
    Truly, I am such a better person for knowing that Obama plays basketball in his free time! His ratings just went up in my book strictly because I love basketball too! I know that there are humanitarian crises going on all over the world, but I don't care about those because all I care about is the IMPORTANT news CNN feeds me about Obama loving to play basketball!

    February 15, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Dan, TX

    Thank you for this lighthearted article. President Obama is an inspiration to many of us.

    February 15, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. marcus tullius c

    Perhaps he could learn from President Bush's first pitches. The only problem might be President Bush is a sportsman and Obama isn't.

    February 15, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. Karl

    President BHO says that the economy is in dire straits. It is as worse as the great depression. Pelosi says 500 million Americans are losing jobs every month.

    Yet, BHO has time to dicuss NBA and play basketball with college students. We see Michelle Obama on the cover of the Vogue magazine. Marie Antoniette anyone?

    Doesnt look like the first family actually quite understands what recession is.

    February 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    What is wrong with Joe... Start opening your Bible and reading Corinthians...it's about love.....what you are spewing is very hateful!

    February 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  15. What's wrong with you

    I cannot believe for one second Republicans are criticizing Obama already. They had 8 years to fix things and left the country in misery. As for Obama playing basketball, I don't see anything wrong with it. George W.Bush used to cut trees in his lanch and biked often. Nobody raised eyebrows for his hobbies , but rather for his policies that put America to shame.

    February 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. claucworc

    Good to see him using an opportunity to stay active and shoot around to maintain some sense of normalcy. I'd rather him be doing that than listening to a bunch of out of touch Republican lawmakers whine about how they were left out of the process.

    Well President Obama certainly didnt leave you out of the process....dont blame him....blame the American people. We are the ones that took you out of the game.

    In basketball, if you cant hit the shots when you get the ball........you end up riding the pine. Dont like it......go to Canada...isnt that what you used to tell us during your heyday?

    February 15, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  17. gregg45

    this is absoutely hillarious.. a black man playing baketball... no , really...btw, don in iowa,, never have a one party system... they come after u first..dave,, u are not real //larry , thats all we really need cool and swagger.. why not dig john wayne up..and bill.. the hard way... get real fool,, i am far from afraid,and much away from dumb.. put your faith in a person who has less experinence than { } insert

    February 15, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. sartre

    The republicans are traitors to this country. They will not rest until this great nation is destroyed with hate and anger. Obama has just inherited the mess left behind by the biggest failed presidency since Buchanan. I wish him all the best but there is only so much he can do.

    February 15, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Matt

    Geez who cares, Obama sucks at basketball. Did he even play high school, or college? If not who cares, he sucks at bball. He's horrible, I'm as good as he is, and I am only 5'7", never played HS.

    February 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Roberta

    Hey, for all of you with problems with the stimulus bill, a lot of politicians say its a bad idea, many of us laypeople think its bad, but guess what? Most economists, who are trained in such things, think it's a pretty good idea. Guess who's trained in economy? President Obama. Give it a rest, give it a chance and stop whining.

    February 15, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Texas


    February 15, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  22. BJ

    everyone needs a stress outlet

    February 15, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Danny (White Guy) in Chicago

    It's AMAZING how many negative people (basically against Obama) are on here! I swear there has to be about %50 coverage anti-Obama. Considering how high his approval ratings have been consistantly – I'm pretty comfortable saying that this group of people don't accurately portray the majority of Americans. I think that's reasonable to say, right? So...........why?

    Do YOU want America to fail CNN?

    And to all you haters who seem to get more screen time in these blogs – 4 years is a LONG time. Yep, 4 years...... What month are we in again – oh yeah...middle of the 2ND MONTH. Wow....... you people are going to have to pace yourselves if you want to continue this up – – because what if he gets 8 years?

    Oh yeah, and our guy is kinda young, stays fit, and Obama is damn smarter than the average guy, so you better bring your 'A' game and be ready to cover the 3 because he can shoot too.....

    You Repubs aint got no game – let's get on the court and dance.
    No Fear – Bring it on pubs......

    February 15, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. lou

    Perhaps once the world wakes up to this fake leader, he'll have a sport to rely on to pass his time. Nice guy, great smile, no leadership skills, no vision for Democracy, just Socialism and we're too broke to afford that any more.

    February 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. looseparts

    Hey Joe,

    How about a little less 'them' and a whole lot more 'us'. It looks to me that the segregationists are passing into historical obscurity and that makes me very happy. The time for the separation you seem to yearn for is ending. For me, Black History Month is important because these stories were untold for so much of our past. Amplifying the deeds of those who worked past the shameful oppression or our nation's past brightens the beacon to the world the USA continues to put forth.

    Here's another thing... Line up the the recession events of the last 100 years, and the match perfectly with the end of a Republican administration. Coincidence? Probably not. Greed for the benefit of a few damages our economy every time.

    February 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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