The Secret Details Of Obama’s Game

On August 11, 2010, in Articles, Basketball, Humor, by Baller-in-Chief

A humorous look at the birthday basketball game President Obama threw himself the other day, with LeBron, Dwyane, Magic, Russell, Carmelo, and Chris as guests.

(From Jason Gay for The Wall Street Journal Online)

Wow, that was a fabulous birthday basketball game President Obama threw himself the other day. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Magic Johnson and Bill Russell. Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul.

President Obama with a basketball.

Scott Baio and Noam Chomsky. Sally Quinn and the Arcade Fire. Warner Wolf and Joan from “Mad Men.”

Or something like that. Did anyone get a confirm on the president’s final roster? The dreamy White House contest was a closely guarded secret. The media were barred, tickets weren’t sold and nobody watched—it felt just like a Memphis Grizzlies home game.

But as Gilbert Arenas could tell you, you can’t hide zesty basketball gossip in D.C. A few details of the game have emerged. Here’s a run-down:

• Mr. Obama finished with 12 points and five rebounds. But the game’s highlight was a backboard-rattling windmill dunk over an embarrassed LeBron by recently retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The dunk was beautiful, but Justice Stevens yelling “Boo-ya”? Priceless.

• The Knicks agreed to let Amar’e Stoudemire play but only if the Treasury and the World Bank offered to pay the rest of Eddy Curry’s contract.

• Even at 76, Mr. Russell totally dominated young Mr. Anthony, scoring 14 points. No, we’re just making a little joke there. Mr. Russell scored 52.

• At halftime, Mr. Anthony was traded to Russia along with six former KGB spies.

• In what’s surely the first of many oversights, Messrs. James and Wade forgot to tell Chris Bosh about the game.

• Laker veteran Derek Fisher delighted his teammates with wild anecdotes from a similar contest in 1955 with President Eisenhower.

• Mark Cuban didn’t watch the game but was still fined $100,000 by David Stern for thinking about it.

• Impressively, a well-lubricated fan in a Phillies T-shirt managed to sneak in and rush the court, whereupon he was Tasered by the Secret Service and picked up on waivers by the Red Sox.

• When Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov saw the lineup for the game, he angrily asked, “What is President Obama doing with my 2016 Nets roster?” whispered something intensely into his cuff, and was picked up within 15 seconds by a helicopter piloted by Mr. Stern and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Esti Ginzburg.

• Brett Favre was invited, but at the last minute he texted the president and told him he’d retired. Then he called an hour later and said he wasn’t retired. Then he called and said he would wait until his ankle is healed. Now Mr. Favre is in a secret prison, facing a 10-year sentence for annoying Earth.

• The White House reported that Kobe Bryant was there but didn’t play. This is untrue. Mr. Bryant played 10 minutes when he was fouled hard by Mr. Wade. Angered that Mr. Wade didn’t apologize, Mr. Bryant grabbed a PA microphone and cursed out all of the players, grabbed a pair of beers, slid down an emergency inflatable sled and disappeared.

• It goes without saying, but the president’s game couldn’t have been pulled off without the magic recruiting touch of recently hired Knicks consultant Isiah Thomas.

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