Hail to The Chief. Hail to the “Dream Team.” President Barack Obama attended the United States-Brazil pre-Olympic basketball exhibitions Monday (July 16) in Washington. In the process, he cast a vote.
During an ESPN halftime interview, basketball enthusiast Obama was asked about Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant’s recent contention that the 2012 U.S. team could beat the 1992 squad that featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing and numerous other future Hall of Fame players.
“This is a generational thing,” Obama said. “I was around in ’92 and I was a [Chicago] Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original ‘Dream Team.’ ”
Bryant said last week this current crop of Olympians — featuring Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, among others — could defeat the ’92 team.
“Kobe is a competitor so you expect him to do a little trash talking whenever the opportunity arises,” Obama said with a laugh.
If it’s any consolation to this year’s version, Obama did say the team has “incredible talent” and predicted it would win Olympic gold in London.
“There’s no reason we shouldn’t bring home the Gold. We just have to stay focused,” he said. “One thing I’m happy about is to see how hard everybody is playing. You really get a sense of how proud they are to represent the United States.”
The crowd chanted “USA, USA” as Obama and vice president Joe Biden took their courtside seats.
The crowd was less happy when Obama and wife Michelle were shown on the scoreboard video screen for a Kiss-Cam segment and the couple did not comply. Fans booed.
Given a second chance near the end of the game (an 80-69 U.S. men’s victory), Obama put his arm around Michele and kissed her. This time the crowd cheered with some chanting: “Four more years.”
That’s a reference to the presidential campaign in which Obama is to be pitted against Republican Mitt Romney. No word from the Romney campaign on whether he favors the ’92 or 2012 team. Given Romney’s record of switching positions, he just might pick both — albeit at different appearances.
On a practice court, after the women’s victory, Obama received a red U.S. No. 1 jersey from players Tamika Catchings (a Chicago-area native who plays for the WNBA Indiana Fever) and Swin Cash, who plays for the WBA Chicago Sky.
“We could not be prouder,” Obama said.
Tweeted Cash, who is on Twitter at @SwinCash: President Obama got his USA Jersey like just like @Catchin24 and I promised during the Easter Egg hunt
Cash also tweeted: Well @Catchin24 & I tried to get Pres @BarackObama to let @JoeBiden come to London for #OperationGOLD but he said “He’s Gotta work”
Michelle is scheduled to attend the Olympics, as is Romney.
Speaking of the Olympics, here is some video of Chicago Sky players Sylvia Fowles and Cash, who are on the Olympic squad:
Still speaking (OK, maybe fantasizing, in this case) about the Olympics, some of us think that pole dancing has a possibility as a sport fit for such international competition. And so, we offer Exhibit A from Exxxotica Chicago 2012, which was held over the weekend at the Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.:
Speaking of Exxxotica, here is adult actress Jynx Maze. She even chats a little sports (and, yes, this is what some of us call work — on a good day):
Advertising opportunities are available on ElliottHarris.com. For information and rates, contact email@example.com