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. Lookin for some *NEWS*

    Oh... my... God...
    As if John King doesn't have any real news to report? This is the sort of lame "reporting" (if you could even call it that) we get from modern media outlets. The guy likes basketball and does some (almost) every day because he enjoys it and it helps him relive stress. So give the guy a break – he wasn't elected to shoot hoops for America and nobody in America really cares whether his game is up to pro level. instead of wasting our time (and your reporters' time) with a pro assesment of our President's basketball game, why don't you tell us some news?!?

    We just spent nearly a trillion dollars on a bailout package that is supposed to help this faltering economy and CNN wants to analyze Obama's basketball game. It's no wonder this economy is in such sad shape – American businesses are running their businesses a lot like CNN runs it's "news" operations.

    Jesus Christ! Get back to business and report some *news*!!!!

    February 15, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. kris

    the president is great playing basket ball at his age,he is not some grumpy old man who can jog or play any games neither walk because of concern for health guess with his physical condition will inspire americans to be healthy

    February 15, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  3. a TRUE soldier

    Obama is stupid.

    February 15, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. CTSadler

    Hey Joe,

    You realize of course you need to get an underground shelter in Montana soon, right? You and "your" people, the white trash racists in America, your time is about done.


    February 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  5. LE from Georgia

    I read comments from here and other sites, ...such anger, ugliness and hatred! For some, expressing one's opinion, seems to have become an unflattering and uncompromising place of existence.

    In addition to all of President Obama's responsibilities, his attempt to bring members of congress and the rest of the country together is taking and will take much continued effort. There ARE many individuals who want to see this happen. The loud ones want to make it seem otherwise. Kudos to President Obama for taking advantage of those basketball moments to "relax" from it all.

    His approach continues to remind me that with time and persistence change happens. I wish him the best.

    February 15, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  6. CTSadler

    George W. had a hobby too. Helped him relive stress... helped him stay in shape. It was called "Destroying the Country."

    February 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  7. Susan

    WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    tHE SKY IS FALLING SAYS............................the economy is the worst it has ever been, and the media talks about basketball

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Say What???

    How is it that our new President is in office less than A MONTH and he is scrutinized for everything? Our former President took us into war (two that we know of), sent our economy into a pit, voted against every environmental bill, gave his "friends" billion dollar govtmnt contracts (domestically and internationally) and he did not endure half of the nonsense in EIGHT YEARS!?!?!?! Btw, I have only mentioned some of his more blatant and known acts, but if some would like we could dig further..

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. Greg

    Don of Iowa:

    How long do Americans think America's most productive 25% of the nation (who pay 86.27% of the federal hog trough tab) will foot the bill for the other 75% of Americans who can't resist the urge to bite the hand that feeds them?

    When $4 trillion in new federal debt fails to "bailout" a nation no longer interested in bailing itself out, what next?

    When those who pay taxes in America run for cover in foreign markets that will reward them for their productivity instead of penalizing it, who will foot the bill in America then?

    It's official… Americans have indeed made history, as the dumbest electorate on earth. When the bill for "change" comes due, what's the D's next trick?

    Congratulations! It took the freest people on earth only 232 years to vote themselves into desperate economic calamity and national collapse at the hand of people who have never held an honest job, employed a single soul, produced a single thing, turned a penny's profit or met a single payroll.

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Matthew, Detroit

    What he should be nervous about is dropping the soap in the shower at the YMCA.

    February 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Joe

    The fact that the liberals, and the liberal news media, like CNN, are talking basketball is just a misdirection play. CNN, why are you pouring through the 1100 pages today and highlighting all the scary parts of it. Obama, CNN and the rest of the "Drive By Media" have sold this country down the Chicago river!! IT IS APPALLING

    February 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Mr. Plumber, is that you?

    Joe: *Every* month is White History Month, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    February 15, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Brian

    On Obama coming to Denver to sign the bill: actually, Colorado is one of the places which will be least hard hit by the recession, due to lots of small businesses and agriculture (I live in Fort Collins). While its certainly nice for me that the nation is screwing itself over to benefit Denver and the west, I can't approve of it as sound policy. The only real reason Obama is signing it in Denver is because Colorado is a key swing state he's hoping to cement as a blue state. I have news for you Obama – inner city Denver is only a small part of the state.

    February 15, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  14. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    And you heard it here first! WOW!

    February 15, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |


    February 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Just another face in the crowd

    I am so glad that our wonderful president is more worried about his jump shot and not worried about our freedom slowly slipping away from us or the fact that he is about to allow the freedom of choice act to pass allowing planned parenthood to killed via late term abortions..but hey whatever..at least his mom "chose" to keep him alive. I hope that he works on that jump shot and it gets better as we all lose our freedoms and this government makes decisions for us. I don't need to make pesky decisions like where should I spend my money..I like to leave that to the government because I know that they can spend my money much better than I could..

    February 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. Awaiting Moderation, Again

    Bill Russell....critique Obama's game?!?!?!?

    Fine, if Bill Russell tell us the real reason he wouldn't "sign" autographs........... for years!

    February 15, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Awaiting Moderation, Again

    Personal to Marie and your comments on recreational activity:

    At least Obama can stay on the bike, not like some folks!

    February 15, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Jennifer G


    You make me sick.

    I am a white, educated woman who also loves basketball.

    Your reference to 'they' is disgusting. You are an EMBARRASSMENT to the HUMAN RACE.

    Perhaps your 3rd grade education and racist parents didn't teach you manners, get a frickin' life and please, do the rest of us a favor and move to your own private island!

    I won't even try to explain why we have a black history month and that pretty much everyday for over 200 years was 'white only' history....the ignorance, the ignorance....how very sad.

    February 15, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. Gong

    What a team player!

    February 15, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. NC

    Shameful...........lets focus here............he's suppose to be the president of the united states, not an over-rated basketball player.................he needs to spend more time working out the problems of our country. i don't really care if basketball is his stress reliever, he's suppose to be the president, presidents are suppose to have stress 24/7, thats what we the people pay him to do................be the president...........not a celebrity........

    February 15, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. John

    Joe, Black History Month is not a "racist" month as you say. Black History Month is a month honoring the great works of many African Americans in this great nation. African Americans deserve a month dedicated to the history of the suffering and success of their people, considering how they were treated by whites in the past.

    February 15, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. Elisabeth

    It is okay to have lighthearted news every now and then.

    Since it is February, we "do" know who built the house he lives in, and that Adams was the first President to reside there, right? Or, is that too much history?

    Nobody holds a grudge or complains, we just feel proud and love our country. Don't take away something we love.

    February 15, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Joseph

    Maybe we should have a Latin History Month too? Im black btw just never been a fan of affirmative action

    February 15, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. JoAnn

    Dropping the ball ! If your looking at a basketball and talking on your cell phone, which should have been restricted, you do not have your eyes on the serious issues this country is facing.

    February 15, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
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