February 15th, 2009
02:27 PM ET
13 years ago

Aide: Scrutiny from NBA greats would make Obama 'nervous'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/12/art.bohoops0212.gi.jpg caption="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. Jewel

    Joe, "they who" like basketball...Sarah Palin?

    February 15, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. malabar


    February 15, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. therealmarie

    CNN void of anything of substance.

    February 15, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  4. sue

    No one had time to read the bill and someone had to come back from his mother's funeral so the bill would pass. Seems like arrogant control by Mr. Obama. Now, he isn't signing until maybe Tuesday. Our lawmakers could have been reading it all weekend.

    February 15, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  5. Rita in Mississippi

    On the one hand we have an intelligent, mature, steady, healthy, active, hard working president.
    And on the other hand we have Boehner throwing temper tantrums instead of reading the bill, and other GOP acting just plain FOOLISH.

    February 15, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Errin

    It's a fluff, light-hearted story. Every president has their own "thing" they enjoy. I believe for former Pres. Bush and Clinton is was running. Pres. Obama loves the game of basketball....
    Joe: I happen to be one of those "they" you so snidely referred to. Black History Month isn't "racist." It's a month (28 days, 29 days every four years) to acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions that African Americans, Black people have made to our nation. Or do you not know? The first person to die for the American Revolution was a black man. Or that your wonderful traffic lights were invented by a black man? If you see this month as a way for black people to recriminate whites for slavery, you're wrong. Every other month is really dedicated to what white people have done for this country. Give us our 28/29 days just to teach children and our own children what wonderful things we've done.
    It has nothing to do with the liberal agenda. It's just RIGHT....
    And we do love basketball but Black people are more than that. And we've contributed to this country just as much as you have....

    February 15, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  7. LAW

    Only seven photos of Obama on the series of ticker articles.

    CNN is slipping.

    February 15, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  8. Simmy

    Last Patriot,

    Change your name.
    You de-value that treasured title (Patriot). True "patriots" put country ahead of ideologies. Your words are those of one who suffers from a one-tracked mind. This "Americans" train is leaving – get on board before it's too late.


    "People like you" are still trapped in that "50's" Box. You have this unqualified sense of entitlement. Let me remind you that you too are a descendant of immigrants. Although "they" came over on ships, bound in chains, the same rights that you have belong to all the "theys" in this country also. The only "Pure" Americans here are the Native Americans. Take this pill and swallow it.

    February 15, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Shawn

    C'mon people... for those that don't know... it is NBA All-Star Weekend, which is probably why CNN did a segment on OUR president's basketball skills...

    Not to mention that the footage of him playing was from like a year ago...

    Just like the ignorant ones in this country that can only focus on negativity and propaganda... The President actually PLAYING basketball... WELL, is an inspiration to kids all over this country, not to mention it brings some REALNESS to them man, to see he's not just a "suit" and does things that everyday people do...

    Stop Hating! You guys had your chance the the last 8 years, and all we got is this mess... Just imagine what Obama could do for this country if he didn't HAVE to focus on fixing the last administration's mistakes....

    February 15, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. GOP = Geriatric Obstructionist Pityparty


    You need to send that suggestion in to wh.gov, that is a very good idea!

    February 15, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. CONNIE

    The republicans bankrupt the country morally when most repub are against abortions and they go to church you better look up the word morally and as far as financially we were doing great until 2 yrs ago and guess what happened the democrats took control of congress. i have to say i am so shock how many people are so ignorant and closed minded. i say that liberals are the racists of all people because if you don't agree with their beliefs then they call you names.

    February 15, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. Bob

    If our new President is trying to change things for the better. Than why has his party pulled out all the stops to prevent the Republican party and the American people from know what was in the so called stimulus package before it was voted on? If the democrats were really trying to pass a stimulus package that was in the best interest of the country (not just their next election campaign), they would have proudly proclaimed what they were spending the money on and why. We have the right to know before we commit to it. There shouldn't be one cent spent on any project that cannot be defended as need for stimulating the economy.

    It is clear the Democrats have passed a bill designed to meet their political agenda rather than the goal of stimulus. Down the road they will simply say, "I didn't realize that was in there".

    Everything the Democratic Party has done so far shows they cannot be trusted. Hopefully we survive as a nation.

    February 15, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  13. Indigo

    Our president is smart and he's got game as well. Way to go Mr. President. My family and friends love you also, and we know you are human. You can't comdemn anything before you know what it is the way the repubs have decided to do. But we will not be fooled by their antics. The more they are on TV with their slander, the less we like them. The same way it was during the campaign. So let them keep it up. It only helps you. God Bless President Obama.

    February 15, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  14. Nick

    whats that supposed to mean joe...you racist plumber...plus whites werent slaves nor the working backbone during birth of this nation...Joe if you want to be racist then move to Japan or Russia....

    February 15, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Mitchell from MS

    Maybe he was second string in high school because it was his white half playing.... afterall HE IS NOT BLACK!

    February 15, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  16. SQZ

    Whoever "Bill" is clearly misused whatever dollars supported whatever "education" he received, probably public. What a totally inane comment. Hope he enjoys coming taxes, future crap health care and the burdening of future generations with debt that will never be repaid.

    February 15, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  17. Maggie May

    The Republicans that are posting their hate-filled comments on this site should realize that you are not helping your party – just keep it up folks- should do you a lot of good in 2010.

    February 15, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  18. HouseDiva

    ALL YOU RACIST CAVE-DWELLERS NEED TO SHUT UP AND SHAVE YOUR EYEBROWS....Don't go hating on Obama because he has SKILLS that you don't posses.

    I feel Obama COMPLETELY when the kids and husband get on my nerves; I escape by spinin vinyl records. Chicago HOUSE is my stick.

    February 15, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  19. Gary

    I am encouraged that the last several Presidents have been athletic and have incorporated exercise into their daily routine. President has upheld this tradition with his love of basketball. I think we could translate this into more exercise programs, gym time and health efforts for our children. This would help us to combat childhood obesity. I'm not sure if the Surgeon General position has been officially filled (I think Sanjay Gupta is a great choice), but once filled he could help encourage our kids to exercise and play team sport like basketball. This issue is a winner for President Obama.

    February 15, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  20. khalid munir

    nothing change, all horses running on same pace ,lets see who is the winner,

    February 15, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  21. Mr. Britt

    sooo i guess this is more news worthy than my state only getting 1-tenth of 1% of the stimulus deal..

    February 15, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  22. Otse Ogorry

    Obama has got skills in whatever he does, leadership, basketball, parenting you name it. Quit hating 'cos he's got talents that you wish were yours. The GOP are bitter because they have to lick their sore wound in full public glee. Americans, focus your support on the President and achieve what your generations to come will be proud of. The guy's got skill...

    February 16, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
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