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. MSNBC

    I'm just so in love with this man...he can do no wrong!

    February 15, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Colin Rigney

    This is not news CNN! Can you, CNN, be any more biased with your reporting? I think you know the answer to that. Give us some diversity from conservative and liberal views and let us decide. The president should care more about what the american citizens are thinking. Besides, any Division II player can take him to school on the president's best day....... probably any Junior college hooper

    February 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Renee

    Joe – get a grip. "They" aren't the only ones that enjoy Basket ball r sports in general. “That One” in particular has much boarder interest. And White History is taught all 12 months of the year..

    Give it a rest – the man plays basket ball for some exercise and stress relief. Anybody making an issue of that seriously has way too much time on their hands

    February 15, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. david,baltimore,mamryland

    I thought the Republican presidential campain was about the funniest display of ineptitude that I had ever seen but in short order it is trumped by their post elecion "strategy" of getting back into power.Has anyone dared to tell them they lost the election? It maybe that their stategy solidifies their base is way too small to ever win a national election these days especially when it makes no attempt to bring in moderate and conservative blacks and hispanics.When a party posits a palin as its most likely candidate to lead it back to respectability you know it is bereft of any substantive ideas.
    It shows its utter contempt for the average american by failing to take resposibility for the fiasco called Bush whose policies they rubberstamped over the last 8 years.It is more likely the republican party will not be around much longer conservative democarts and respectable moderate republicans coalesce around a new party.Obama has these fools right where he wants them and he can yank their chains whenever he wants.

    February 15, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Joe you racist pig Bastard every month is White history month,along with every day so move out of your mother's trailer and get your own place .

    February 15, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Dan

    I can certainly understand all the attention that President Obama is receiving these days. I do believe however that a lot of the media coverage on his non job-related activities is superficial.

    We are at a critical time in our country. we need to concentrate our attention on the policies that will determine the future of our nation. This is not the time for silly coverage regarding basketball skills or petty political remarks. People are losing their jobs for goodness sake.

    Let's concentrate on job creation and the proper education of our children. This is how we are going to get back on track.

    February 15, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Laura

    Glad to see that the only people who make Obama nervous are basketball players who make millions a year and not the reps in Congress. This is a great start.

    February 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. Lilly Rose

    The Last Patriot @ February 15th, 2009 12:08 pm ET – 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.
    Wait until the stimulus package is available online. Then, if you are able to comprehend, you can read it. You're welcome.

    February 15, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    Republicans are going down in2010.

    February 15, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Vera

    Schools across the country may lose their art and music programs, but for the next four years they will never have to worry about losing basketball.

    February 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  11. True Democrat from Washington State

    This was a fun piece on President Obama. I enjoyed it because we saw an opportunity to hear NBA greats critique the President's basketball skills in a lighthearted manner. At the end of the day, what does it have to do with the stimulus bill that was just past? Nothing. The piece just shows how our Presidents loves playing basketball to relieve a little stress and get some exercise. Perhaps the President will one day inite some NBA greats to a charity game to benefit education. Or perhaps he continues to play and have fun!

    February 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |

    he needs to concentrate more on telling the truth rather than shooting hoops. Lazy A@#. he will have p;enty of time to ball after his 1 term is up. and to all you swooning over his looks , get a life will you. He is a dictator but he looks smooth.

    February 15, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  13. Hilary

    @ Larry - Bush already "slamdunked our futures." Just cause there's a new President doesn't mean that the debt that was created under Bush was erased and we started with a clean slate.

    February 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  14. Spike Norbert

    This says a lot about how out of reality Obama really is. Actually, the least thing Obama needs to be nervous about is basketball...

    February 15, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. Arrah

    I can understand the need for a basketball court for Obama. What I can't understand is tearing out an expensive bowling alley that the next president might love, and need, for stress. will she tear out the basketball court and put another bowling alley in.
    Why not another building for the gym? And it could be cheaper to build as well.
    Is that still in the plans?
    Maybe while he's playing basketball his kids and wife can bowl.

    February 15, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  16. Rob Stumpf

    Obama likes playing the role of President more than he actually enjoys DOING the job. This is one reason he's still constantly campaigning and still posing for photo ops. In the middle of the supposed stimulus crisis, he takes a few days off to fly to Chicago BEFORE the bill is even signed.

    Nancy makes policy, Rahm runs the White House, and Barry talks about how much he loves the NBA.

    Fortunately, this too shall pass...

    February 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Alex

    The sad thing is I do not know how CNN is trying to link hobby to professional duty of the President. The current CNN reporting is very disgusting. All they are looking for is what Obama did wrong or could not manage to do. I wish you had scrutinized Bush the same way. Bush managed to get away with everything because his cronies (that includes CNN) accuse everybody of not being patriotic when they challenge his actions. Obama is paying high price in the media for being open-minded. The good thing there are many sources for news and it will not be long before those who choose to distort news will be irrelevant.

    February 15, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Polly Simpson

    Obama dribbles while the country burns down. Sound familiar? The country's burning down is just what Obama wants because he wants to build it back the way he thinks it should be, under his command and control.

    February 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I thought Moderators were supposed to be fair and unbiased – why are you singling out certain individuals?

    February 15, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Al-Chesapeake

    Another article that brings out all the liberal Bush bashers. Hate him
    all you want but at least the good old USA has been safe for
    the past 7 &1/2 years. Let's see if President Obama can keep
    it this way or will he listen to the FAR LEFT and do away with the
    security put in place Mr. (President) Bush.

    February 15, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  21. Nate Hohman

    Well thank you for the heads up on obama's ballin'. I commend you for not commenting on his washboard abs, something that I've seen mentioned on many of the other obama puff pieces.

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Amused In FL

    who reaaly gives a rats behind

    February 15, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. Karl

    Joe: 1) Get off the lame talking points about the fairness doctrine. This is something Hannity and O'Reilly have started with no substantial backing of their points.

    2) The first sentence of your comment insinuates you're a bitter, Republican racist. Stop ramming the brick wall; it's never going to come down.

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  24. Eric

    Hey Joe-

    We have eleven months during which white history is celebrated. Given that much of African American history is still in the process of being recovered after centuries of obfuscation and systematic denial of black contributions to the foundation and sustenance of this nation, I do not think that four weeks of recognition is too much.

    February 15, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. gregg45

    wow.. from the court to entertainment,, who cares if he beat his afro girl,,, it happens all the time... why is this front news.. all black
    all cnn

    February 15, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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