July 11th, 2010
04:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama to play hoops with LeBron James?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/11/art.boshoot0711.gi.jpg caption="'I can only imagine if the president had an opportunity to play against LeBron James, he would take it,' Obama aide Robert Gibbs said Sunday."]
Washington (CNN) – White House press secretary Robert Gibbs left open the possibility Sunday that President Obama could take a turn on the hardwood with NBA super star LeBron James.

“Look, I can only imagine if the president had an opportunity to play against LeBron James, he would take it,” Gibbs said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I don't know that we would make the game public or the outcome or the score public because let's just say somebody [like James] who is 6-foot-8, quite that size, starts with an advantage that is hard for the president to make up.”

Gibbs was reacting to comments James made to ESPN Thursday after he announced he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat. The NBA star said he wouldn’t mind playing against the commander in chief.

“'I think President Obama would hold his own. I've seen him shoot the ball — he's a lefty, too. You know, pretty much all lefties can shoot,’" James said of the president, according to a report by The Hill newspaper. "’He's worked on his game a lot; I've seen him playing with the North Carolina University [University of North Carolina] also. So I think he'll hold his own.’"

Despite Obama’s and James’ shared love of basketball, Gibbs acknowledged Sunday that James had disappointed the president by deciding against joining Obama’s hometown favorite, the Chicago Bulls.

“He disappointed people in Ohio. He disappointed people in Chicago,” Gibbs said of James.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Ed Reilly

    IF, ever came to pass, would be enjoyed bay lots of us, especially the Republicans, watching Obama being anhilated...but for any of us who ever dreamed what would be like to play against such...give Barack a chance to fill OUR "dreams"!

    July 11, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. Craig shearer

    Naw. Obama is a winner, he wouldn't want to play with LeBrick. Plus, he is a busy man and wouldn't have time to wait for James to ice his bum elbow.

    July 11, 2010 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  3. thor

    Just like being president,if he were to play basketball with L.James he would be in way over his head.But he would go out and give a speech about how he cleaned LeBron's clock on the court and there would people that actually believed the Obama rheotic.

    July 11, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    10% unemployment? Active wars in two countries? An oil slick the size of Kentucky in the Gulf of Mexico? Deficits larger than anyone can comprehend? States near bankruptcy? No problem. I'll play hoops with King James! It will be good pub. All that other stuff I haven't figured out I can just blame on the administration that left office nearly two years ago or every industry I can think of, one after the other in succession. We community organizers LOVE Socialism!!! Let's sue Arizona after the game.

    This TV-Preacher President is like every other tv preacher; to be successful, they need a stupid flock. Hope? Change? I'm hoping for change harder than ever.

    July 11, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. valwayne

    We have 9.5% UNEMPLOYMENT, and its only that low because so many people have given up looking for work completely. We have more corrupt spending and debt than in the history of the world. The economy is teetering on the edge of a 2nd dip recession, and oil is washing up on every shorline the nation has in the Gulf because the abatement and relief effort after nearly 3 months is an incompetent and negligent mess. I hope Obama has fun shooting hoops! The millions and millions and millions of UNEMPLOYED will enjoy watching since they don't have anything better to do, like working to feed their families!!!

    July 11, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  6. Nathan

    Won't Obama need Ohio in the next election. If he wants to play with a pro why not pick someone who isn't so outwardly full of himself. After the shameful way this non championship quitter acted the last few months I don't think it would help Obama's image much. The only thing worst would be if its televised on ESPN. Lebron should have played against Bush, then we could have had the Decision against the Decider.

    July 11, 2010 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Lebron did too

    He disappointed people in Ohio.
    He disappointed people in Chicago.

    July 11, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  8. Fed Up Wth Dems!

    Two ways of looking at this.

    At least he wouldn't be able to screw this country up anymore if he were busy playing ball.


    Sure, go play some ball and let the country continue to decline, then have the audacity to send your propaganda specialists out to bash others that travel to yacht races and other events, hypocrite!

    July 11, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  9. Bill in ca.

    Maybe Obama .should take up basketball full time.

    July 11, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. arch

    If he plays this kid it will be just one more thing that he sucks at! This is all he has been doing for the past 2 yrs. He has been playing games! He thinks that what is going on in our country will go away on its own! What a fool he truly is! Who knows! Maybe he will take credit for this kid leaving the Cavs and moving to South Beach, as the kid stated. The kid probably doesn't know that South Beach is in Miami Beach. Maybe he said that because that is where he will be most of the time when he parties! It would be nice to see obama go and play basketball everyday if he promised to leave the white house and let people who know what common sense is and also what leadership is and how to manage a country! Maybe in 2012 when he is back in Chicago he will be able to play as much ball as he likes! Maybe some team would let him be their ball boy! He might actually be good at that. I don't see how he could screw that job up unless he handed the balls to the other team, which is possible because he wants people to like him! He is the type that gets the job because everybody says how nice he is, but nobody ever asked him what his qualifications were! How many times have we seen that in big business! Most of those bozos were smart enough to have great severance packages, just like this bozo will!

    July 11, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. J.D. Tickles

    This is likely to happen if Lebron will do it, as the president plays more often than he takes care of the business of the country. After all, he pays speechwriters to run the country.

    July 11, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Nestor, Austin, TX

    Seriously CNN? This is news? The president might play basketball? Slow news day eh?

    July 11, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  13. Keith in Austin

    My God! Does the syrupy Bozo brown nosing from the left-wing media ever cease? Meanwhile, our Country is going down the toilet under this boob in a Brooks Brothers Suit!

    July 11, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. indy

    I'm seriously beginning to think he ran for President so he could be with entertainment (sports included in this) giants. He's a world leader, act like it. I don't care that he can play basketball. I don't begrudge him time out of the office, but I'm sick of the pandering on television (NCAA Pool picks, playing Horse with a pro, etc.). Stop acting like a celebrity and start being President. I hope he realizes this will be brought up in the 2012 campaign.

    July 11, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  15. Marc in Virginia

    And Obama has disappointed people in the planet Earth.

    July 11, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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