HoopsHype Barack Obama rumors

May 8, 2013 Updates
May 6, 2013 Updates

The Democratic National Committee says NBA veteran Jason Collins will headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala. Last week, Collins became the first active player in any of four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out as gay. President Barack Obama called the 34-year-old athlete the same day to congratulate him and tell him he was proud of his courage. The DNC says first lady Michelle Obama will also attend the May 29 fundraiser in New York. Tickets start at $1,250 per person and go up to $32,400 per couple to chair the event. SportsNet

April 30, 2013 Updates

During a Tuesday press conference at the White House, President Barack Obama praised NBA center Jason Collins for his decision to come out as gay, saying he was "very proud" of the athlete. "I had a chance to talk to him yesterday. He seems like a terrific young man," Obama said. "I told him I couldn't be prouder... one of the extraordinary measures of progress that we've seen in this country has been the recognition that the LGBT community deserves full equality, not just partial equality. Not just tolerance, but a recognition that they're fully a part of the American family." Huffington Post

President Obama called NBA player Jason Collins Monday to offer his support after Collins announced he's gay, becoming the first openly gay major league professional athlete, CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett has learned. The president offered congratulations and support on Collins' courage and willingness to be the first in the four dominant pro sports to make this announcement. First lady Michelle Obama also showed her support for Collins on Twitter Monday. CBS News

April 2, 2013 Updates

John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene and Emeka Okafor were participants in a basketball clinic for children at the 135th annual Easter Egg Roll and watched as the president missed badly on a series of jumpers and airmailed another. He asked for a new ball in the midst of his misfiring and missed at least 13 shots in row overall, including one layup attempt that hit nothing but the glass. “He missed a lot in a row. We told him move in a little bit. Then he ended up missing a layup and it got out of control,” Beal said. “He has a few excuses he could use. I think he was warming up to at least sprinkle one in. I don’t know.” Washington Post

Obama, a former high school basketball player in Hawaii and an avid hoops enthusiast, finally made a layup and left the court after finishing 2 of 22. The miserable shooting display led Wall to share a few jokes while offering to supply some advice. “I told him ‘I’m on a hot stretch this month,’ ” Wall said. “I said you was shooting like I was shooting the first month I came back. He kept saying I’m going to leave for like five minutes, 10 minutes. He didn’t leave until he made one.” Washington Post

March 4, 2013 Updates

The White House says North Korea's government should be focused on the well-being of its citizens, not on "celebrity sporting events" to entertain the country's elite. White House spokesman Jay Carney made the comments in response to a question about ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman's recent visit to North Korea. Rodman watched a basketball game with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ESPN.com

Upon his return to the U.S., Rodman said Kim wants President Barack Obama to call him. Carney says the U.S. already has direct channels of communication to North Korea's government and those are the channels it will continue to use. "He loves basketball. ... I said Obama loves basketball. Let's start there" as a way to warm up relations between U.S. and North Korea, Rodman told ABC's "This Week." "He asked me to give Obama something to say and do one thing. He wants Obama to do one thing, call him," said Rodman, who called the authoritarian leader an "awesome guy" during his trip. The State Department criticized North Korea last week for "wining and dining" Rodman while its own people go hungry. Rodman also said Kim told him, "I don't want to do war. I don't want to do war." ESPN.com

Clearly frustrating George Stephanopoulos, former NBA great Dennis Rodman gave an insane interview on This Week, claiming that Kim Jong Un is not as bad as he seems. He also says that President Barack Obama should give the North Korean dictator a friendly phone call! “He wants Obama to do one thing: Call him,” Dennis told George on March 3. “He said, ‘If you can, Dennis – I don’t want to do war. I don’t want to do war.’ He said that to me.” “He wants President Obama to call him?” George asked. “He’s a great guy,” the former NBA player added, suggesting that Kim Jong Un and Barack Obama could have a friendly chat with each other. hollywoodlife.com

January 28, 2013 Updates

President Obama welcomed the Miami Heat to the White House to commemorate the team's 2012 NBA title. While there, the players presented the president with a signed basketball, made some impromptu speeches and wandered around the White House. Thankfully, Instagram was there to document the experience. USA Today Sports

LeBron James was like a kid in a candy store Monday afternoon when he and the Miami Heat visited President Obama at the White House to commemorate their 2012 championship. After he presented the president with an autographed basketball from the team, he asked if he could say a few words. Obama, a huge basketball — and Chicago Bulls — fan replied, "It's your world, man." USA Today Sports

The nine-time NBA All-Star couldn't contain his emotion as he addressed Obama, at one point accidentally calling him "coach." "I mean, on behalf of myself and my teammates we just want to thank you for the hospitality, for allowing us to be in the White House," James said. "I mean, we're in the White House! "I mean, Coach said — Prez said — it's real casual, so, we're kids from Chicago, Dallas, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, South Dakota, Miami, we're in the White House right now! This is like, 'Hey, mama, I made it!' " USA Today Sports

January 26, 2013 Updates

When Pat Riley last visited the White House to mark the Miami Heat’s 2006 championship, he told President and Republican George W. Bush he had voted for him. So what’s the Miami Heat president going to tell President and Democrat Barack Obama on Monday when his team again visits the White House? “Here’s how I am about that,’’ said Riley, who Friday wouldn’t reveal his vote in last November’s election although it has been reported he donated $7,500 to Mitt Romney’s campaign. “Regardless of what I am, he’s the leader and that’s it. He’s the boss and I’m right behind him. And it doesn’t make any difference. And that’s how I feel about it. And so I’ll shake his hand with as much enthusiasm and hope for the best. That’s the way it is in this country. That’s how I feel about it.’’ FOXSports Florida

January 24, 2013 Updates
January 23, 2013 Updates

On Monday, Jan. 28, seven months after winning the NBA championship, the Miami Heat will meet with President Obama at the White House to be honored. The President will also recognize the Heat for their support of the military and their families. While in Washington, the Heat will also meet with wounded warriors. USA Today Sports

January 21, 2013 Updates

It was super cool to see Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell in attendance in Washington, D.C., on Monday morning at the inauguration of President Barack Obama for his second term in the Oval Office. It's not necessarily surprising — after all, the 78-year-old Russell was not only an exemplary athlete and champion, but also a proud, tireless advocate for civil and human rights who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Obama has previously recognized Russell's contributions to both sport and society by honoring him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. But still: Pretty cool. A bit less cool: Russell's identification by ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos, one of the hosts of the network's coverage of the inauguration festivities, as captured by closed captioning and Deadspin's Timothy Burke: Yahoo! Sports

January 20, 2013 Updates

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