HoopsHype Barack Obama rumors

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
November 20, 2012 Updates

David Axelrod, President Barack Obama’s chief strategist from his two historical victories and a longtime Bulls season ticket holder, is taking on a new challenge. He hopes to raise $1 million towards finding a cure for epilepsy. And if he does, his trademark look will be gone after more than four decades. NBA.com

But if you don’t recognize the president’s man in his usual spot at center court on the north side of the United Center at the end of this month it may because he doesn’t recognize himself, either. That’s because the Bulls’ No. 1 fan may be without his close friend of more than 40 years, his mustache. And if he is without it, as frightening it may be to family, friends and even himself, Axelrod will be thrilled because it means he’s raised $1 million toward epilepsy cure research. They already are more than halfway there. “It could be a shock to all involved,” Axelrod laughed. “I may have to wear a blindfold as it comes off. It’s something that started off as a lark to make a point in the middle of the campaign that has turned into an opportunity to do some good for a lot of people.” NBA.com

Axelrod now heads to his role as director of the new University of Chicago Institute of Politics, will write a book and do speeches. “And I’ll still be available to the president,” said Axelrod. “He’s not just an old client, but a friend of the last 20 years who will be a friend for life. If he calls me, I’ll always answer.” Though if Axelrod is such a good strategist—and the record says he’s the best—then maybe he can devise something for the Bulls. “There’s going to be good nights and bad nights, but not because they don’t show up,” Axelrod agrees. “For example, (Joakim) Noah looks in great shape, better than any time since he’s been a Bull. His play is reflecting that. So some good things are happening. But every team needs a superstar, and we need ours. We’re all waiting and watching his progress and until then I feel we can be competitive.” NBA.com

November 9, 2012 Updates

In short, the guy who dressed up as President Barack Obama for Halloween is considered by some to be the president of the Jazz locker room. “I’d have to go with Mo Williams for the president (of the locker room), because he talks a lot,” center Al Jefferson said Wednesday, the day after Obama was elected to a second term in office. “Vice president would probably be Paul (Millsap) because he doesn’t talk at all.” Standard-Examiner

November 8, 2012 Updates
November 7, 2012 Updates

In other words, Jordan may have won six championships, but he was oh-for-scoring-political-points during his Hall of Fame career. Jordan -- as the often-related story goes -- chose commerce over politics in 1990 when he refused to endorse Democrat Harvey Gantt, a black U.S. Senate candidate in his home state of North Carolina. "Republicans buy shoes, too," Jordan famously explained. And that was Allen's point: Whereas Jordan avoided politics for fear of alienating potential customers, James could really separate himself by embracing his role as someone who could not only generate opinions but influence them. "It's great to be a basketball player, but to transcend sports is a big responsibility," Allen said. "If he were able to pull that off -- if he wants to pull that off -- I think that would set him apart." CBSSports.com

According to a donor list aggregated by HoopsHype.com, five current NBA players -- Anthony, Hill, Carter, Nolan Smith and free-agent Baron Davis -- donated to Obama's campaign. Jordan was an exception among NBA ownership types who donated to the President's successful re-election bid, putting up $5,000. Even though commissioner David Stern recently poked fun at Obama's basketball skills -- "He’s not that good," said Stern, the noted Democrat who himself donated $5,000 to Obama -- the obstacles that kept Jordan from voicing political opinions during his playing career appear to have been lifted. But the golden rule of sports is to follow the money, and if you do that when it comes to NBA political donations, the league appears just as divided as the country is. CBSSports.com

As for a scouting report on the left-handed Obama, Pippen came away impressed. “He’s not an overly aggressive player, but he takes what the defense gives him,” said Pippen. “He’s got a smooth game. He probably used to be a little more aggressive, but obviously he doesn’t want to get hurt.” That certainly wasn’t going to happen if the defense had anything to do about it. “I thought the lanes opened up when Michael Jordan used to drive,” laughed Pippen. “I used to be like, wow. But when I saw the President drive, I thought they were bringing the whole motorcade through the lane it was so wide.” NBA.com

But running up and down on the basketball court with President Obama was obviously a unique opportunity for Pippen that he will never forget. “It was a very special experience to play ball with the current President on Election Day. That says it all,” said Pippen. “You sit there and wonder what the President is doing on a day like this aside from voting. It was very enjoyable for me and something I’ll always remember. I got to see the President in a relaxed atmosphere—no suit, just one of the guys. It’s a story I can tell my kids and have them look back on.” After they finished playing, Obama approached Pippen and told him, “Hey, I’ve got to get you out to the White House.” Pippen’s response: “For sure, Mr. President.” NBA.com

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