Barack Obama is the biggest basketball fan ever in the White House, and the best basketball player ever to be president (Abraham Lincoln maybe could have given him a run for his money, except the game hadn’t been invented yet).
Over the past eight years, Obama has hosted a number of pick-up basketball games with NBA players, celebrities, and government officials. It’s pretty standard for half of Washington D.C. to pick up the hobby of the president, and when Obama took office suddenly everyone was a baller. Or wanted to be.
At GQ, they put together a great oral history of some of those games, and there are a bunch of great stories. But this one with Joakim Noah is my favorite.
David Axelrod: [The President] ticked off Joakim Noah because the president was trash-talking him about his shot, [which is], shall we say, unorthodox. The president said, “Where’d you get that shot? That’s the ugliest shot I’ve ever seen.” So at some point, Noah decided, “Okay, let’s see about yours.” And he completely smothered the President. I mean he was guarding him and the President could not go anywhere. But I will say that with all of that, somehow playing against all these NBA players, he mysteriously was able to hit the winning shot.
Obama is a lefty with — according to those who played against him — some old man at the Y in his game. He’s crafty.
Here’s another good story, but you should go read the entire piece.
I’m going to miss having a Baller-in-Chief in the White House.