July 11th, 2010
04:50 PM ET
11 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. Nathan

    LeBron might have to bring his new teamates since we all know he can't do anything alone.

    July 11, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Marie

    Doesn't Obama have more important things to attend to? Wait, with the horde of czars he has, he is pretty much free to amuse himself all day every day.

    July 11, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Toad

    He's not playing a very good president so maybe he's better suited playing sports!!!

    July 11, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Ken

    Wow will both their egos fit on one court??

    July 11, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Larry

    President Obama-6'2", 180lbs.

    LeBron James-6'8", 250lbs

    President Obama-tough guy, lotsa spirit. Not a quitter.

    LeBron James–left Cleveland to go to Miami.

    My money's on Obama.

    July 11, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Obama just lost Ohio

    If Obama plays james, he will not win Ohio in his reelection bid - not even close

    July 11, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Tssshhh

    Of course he will play a round' of bouncy ball with the arrogant dude from Ohio. He's the president of the United States of America, why wouldn't he? Duh..... Hello, that's what presidents dooooo.

    July 11, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. JK Ashburn, VA

    I couldn't care less about basketball. But, I hope Obama tries to take Lebron on - and spends months practicing to do it. That would be time much better spent than on his day job where he is doing more harm than good.

    July 11, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Dave

    Obama is good at being a PR-esident!

    July 11, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Hammerer

    obama is just the type a guy that America needs to run the government. He could care less about the well being of state of affairs.
    All a lark with him.

    July 11, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Michael Donovan

    I would be disappointed if the President played against such a selfish individual.

    July 11, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. lindaglenn

    love to see that!!

    July 11, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. straittothepoint

    I think Obama could definatley hold his own playing Lebron in basketball,, he just can't seem to play PRESIDENT very well. This is what you would expect from a liberal network, we have really serious problems here in the US and the only thing the liberals can worry about is Lebron James. I can't wait for November then maybe they will have something a little more real world to worry about.

    July 11, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Don in Albuquerque

    And Obama has been a HUGE disappointment to people all over the world.

    July 11, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. George Washington

    LeBron can't win any titles, unless he is on a team with players better than him. Such as now, so perhaps now he may win something. So LeBron want's to play against the WhiteHouse staff ? Since he can't win in the Big Leagues, he may as well play the non professionals. LeBron only made a business decision, doing basically what all the now whiners would do, if they were in his position. So why all the whining ?

    July 11, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  16. vwrtb

    Good paying jobs please...

    July 11, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. jules sand-perkins

    Very few persons in history have done PR as well as President Obama.
    One cannot criticize or envy him for that: one can only watch him and learn.

    July 11, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  18. Mike

    How about he works on fixing problems instead of playing basketball? Seriously... this becoming absurd.

    July 11, 2010 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Chuck

    One arrogant buffoon plays another. One who calls himself 'King' although he's won no championship amd another who thinks he's a king although his approval ratings are in the toilet and his party is going to get hammered this November because of his lack of leadership.

    These two clowns deserve each other.

    July 11, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  20. key

    Watch all the critics President Obama has no plans to play with leBron ok. Its a metaphor people.

    July 11, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. CONNIE

    all i have to say is that this president is enjoying all the extra stuff you get when you are president doesn't care how this country is running but does take all the advantages. go obama

    July 11, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  22. fed up

    instead of concerning himself with immigration issues or the oil disaster, obama is trying to play basketball with lebron?

    July 11, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. Willy Brown

    Those 2 deserve each other.

    July 11, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  24. ib

    I wish Obama would resign and go play his basketball full time. Oh he spends more time playing basketball now than he does looking out for the good of this country. This country would be better off if did go play his basketball full time.

    July 11, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Charlie in Maine

    I know you work hard and a lot is lying on your shoulders. But hey LeBron the President plays a tough schedule too and I think it would brighten his day if you play b-ball with him. Go easy on him though remember he has to spend part of every day dealing with Republicans.

    July 11, 2010 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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