Never could we have imagined that Kobe Bryant would mean more to a team than he does to the Los Angeles Lakers, but now one has to wonder. If Claudio Sabatini is any indication, Kobe is more important to Italian club team Virtus Bologna than he is to Jack Nicholson.
There have already been insane rumors floating around that Sabatini is willing to offer Bryant $2 million to play a single game in Italy. Imagine if the Lakers paid him $2 million per game? For those of you who hate math, that would be a yearly salary of around $160 million, which would put Tiger Woods and Money Mayweather to shame. Considering Kobe might be giving players loans during the lockout, money is obviously not an issue for him. If you thought a $2 million, one-game offer spelled desperation, check out this letter Sabatini wrote to Barack Obama on his team’s website.
Dear Mr. President,
We have a dream: to see Kobe Bryant playing for our Team Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna, the Italian town well known in the world as basket City.
According to your wishes we hope that the NBA lockout will shortly stop but in the meanwhile let us have the chance to see at least for one game the great Kobe Bryant playing with our black and white jersey and be part of our history.
Obama may be able to get inside an NBA player’s head with a wise crack here and there, but I doubt there is much he could do to convince Kobe to play a game in Italy. Not to mention, basketball in America is pretty good for America. If Obama had any influence at all, it would be in his best interest to use it toward ending the lockout. But…he doesn’t.
Brace yourselves everyone: Shaquille O’Neal has a book coming out. There is no question Shaq Uncut will be filled with entertaining commentary and inside information, but his love for attention should remind us to take anything he says with a grain of salt. This is a guy that will do just about anything to cause a stir and get a few laughs, so if you choose to use his new book as your Bible do so wisely.
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way, Slam Online shared a very intriguing snippet from Shaq’s book with us on Wednesday. We all know Rajon Rondo’s kryptonite is shooting the basketball. The Celtics point guard has had his fair share of offensive explosions by getting to the hoop, but he has one of the worst jump shots in the league for a guard. According to Shaq, President Barack Obama hurt Rondo’s confidence even further back in March and his game got worse.
In early March some of the guys went to the museum of Fine Arts for a fund-raiser and got to hang with President Barack Obama. Everyone was a little bit in awe. The President turns to Ray, points at Rondo, and says, “Hey, Ray, why don’t you teach this kid how to shoot?” Everyone starts laughing.
For several years President Barack Obama has been passing himself off as a sports fan. Folks in the sports world like it because they feel like Obama is a guy and “one of us,” so to speak. He picks NCAA tournament brackets every year, he plays pickup hoops, and he mixes it up with teams when they come to the White House for a visit. Obama’s also taken shots at Cubs fans calling them fair weather, and he’s spoken about his desire to institute a playoff system in college football (crickets). He seems to appeal to the sports fan pretty well, but we’ve also pointed out that he seems to be putting on a front.
The first example came when Obama, who champions himself as a White Sox fan, failed to name a single player from his supposed favorite team. That seems like a pretty simple exercise for someone unless you’re faking it. Now we have more of the same. The folks at Kentucky Sports Radio pointed out that at his meeting with UConn Monday, President Obama got legendary Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp’s name wrong, calling him “Ruff.” Skip ahead to the 2:10 mark in the video to hear it:
One would figure a guy who portrays himself as such a hardcore sports fan and hoops lover would know Adolph Rupp’s name. Call us nitpicking if you choose, but we wouldn’t have “gone there” if Obama hadn’t pushed himself as a big-time sports guy. LBS is not fond of phonies — we prefer people who stick to what they are.
Baltimore Orioles slugger Luke Scott has a reputation for his unconventional political views which aren’t exactly endearing him with most fans. In fact, the Orioles themselves have made it clear that Scott’s views don’t reflect those of the club. After all, how many clubs would be proud to say their left fielder is a birther?
“(President Obama’s) birth certificate has yet to be validated” Scott told The Kansas City Star. “If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me,” Scott says. “So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.”
Talking to Luke Scott shouldn’t even be allowed for reporters at this point because it’s just too easy. It’s bad enough that we have football players who don’t believe airplanes brought down the Twin Towers, now we have to worry about baseball players not believing Obama was born as a U.S. citizen? Fantastic.
When an event occurs in United States history like the one that occurred roughly 24 hours ago, everyone has something to say about it. Here on LBS alone, we have shown you the ripple effect the news of Osama bin Laden’s death has had on college campuses and at Citizens Bank Park, and even showed you a few pictures of a beat up bin Laden — even if they turned out to be top-notch Photoshop work. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the Crimson Tide faithful dropping a Roll Tide” as if Nick Saban himself were responsible for the heroic mission.
For all you gamblers out there who are already bored with the bin Laden story, this concerns you too. SI Hot Clicks passed a story along to us from the sports gambling website Covers.com that highlights how the big news has effected the betting world. For starters, the website Intrade.com, which is designed for investors to buy and sell shares in the outcome of real-world events, had the chances of Osama bin Laden being captured and killed at 4 percent before the news of his death surfaced. As the news made its way around and Barack Obama addressed the nation, the market had spiked as high as 98% and then finally closed.
Conspiracy theorists are probably asking themselves why betting would close before there is any actual proof, but Intrade’s Exchange Operations Manager explained to Covers.com that “there wasn’t really anyone out there willing to take a position that bin Laden wasn’t dead” once the word was out.
First Lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to throw out the first pitch at Camden Yards before a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays next Tuesday. Given Barack Obama’s history with throwing out the first pitch, this could turn out to be pretty emasculating stuff for the President. Michelle’s first pitch certainly can’t be any worse than Barack’s was at the Washington Nationals game. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the video of the President’s first pitch disaster:
Barack could be opening himself up to a world of harassment if Michelle’s first pitch ends up on target. How fun would that be? Fingers crossed she throws a perfect strike. Who knows, maybe she’ll even step into the throw if she avoids studying any film of her husband.
On Monday, I wrote about how my respect level for President Obama as a baseball fan increased a tad with his refusal to do the wave. Like I said before, the wave is for fans who are bored and anyone who takes a stand against it is okay in my book. While I admitted I now think more highly of the current president as a fan, I’d be lying if I told you I thought he was a great athlete. As a matter of fact, I’ll even argue that George W. Bush — who’s 5 years older than Obama — is a more impressive overall athletic specimen.
To kick off the debate I’ve come up with a collection of videos of Obama and Bush participating in athletic activity. Let’s start with the sport Obama has a clear edge in — basketball. The current President can ball. The former president, not so much. Here’s a video of Barack Obama playing H-O-R-S-E followed by a video of George W. Bush shooting an air-ball to prove it:
To be honest, I have no idea what to make of President Obama as a baseball fan. He claims to be a dedicated, life-long Chicago White Sox fan, but couldn’t even name his favorite player — or any player for that matter — when asked in an interview. He’s also thrown out the ceremonial first pitch at a White Sox game and missed horribly. Some fans even questioned his allegiance recently when he accepted an offer to throw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game, but we won’t hold that against him since it would just be bad PR for him to turn that down for obvious reasons.
Now, we see this photo of Barack Obama not doing “the wave” at Nationals Park while he was in attendance watching Stephen Strasburg pitch against the White Sox. Score one for the President. Actually, I’ll even give him two points here. The first point he receives is for clearly being locked into the game and not wanting to be distracted. Just look at the expression on his face and effort he’s giving to peer around the arms of the other fans. The second point is awarded simply for not partaking in the “the wave”. It’s for bored fans. I’ve seen it done in 10-0 games and I’ve seen it done in 0-0 games. If you don’t want to be there, go home. In my opinion, this photo can only help the status of Obama’s fanhood.
Obama Takes A Firm Stand Against The Wave [Deadspin]
A visit to the White House is special for any winning team that gets invited. For the New York Yankees however, their visit celebrating their 2009 World Series title became less about them and more about another city — Chicago. President Barack Obama has made it quite clear in the past that he loves the White Sox, even though he had a hard time naming any of their players. The best part about the Yankees’ visit Monday was not what Obama had to say about his beloved Sox, but instead his comments about the Cubs:
“It’s been nine years since your last title — which must have felt like eternity for Yankee fans. I think other teams would be just fine with a spell like that. The Cubs, for example.”
Way to slip in a jab at the Cubs, Mr. President. It does help mask the pain of a disappointing White Sox season by making fun of the team that is doing slightly better than them (Cubs are 10-10, White Sox are 8-11). This isn’t the first time Obama has made a jab at the Cubs, and I’m certain it won’t be the last.
I think the Yankees may have gotten the last laugh on this one though. After Yankees manager Joe Girardi brought the World Series trophy over to Obama for a photo opp, a member of the Yankees organization said to Obama that it might be the only chance he gets to hold the trophy. Ouch, would you like a little ice for that burn? As much as it pains me to say it, Obama probably won’t be holding a World Series trophy with the boys in black and white anytime soon.
Last week we told you that President Barack Obama was going to throw out the first pitch at the Nationals season opener Monday. He came through as promised but his delivery was a failure in more than one way. First off, Obama’s pitch was high and about six feet off the plate, and somewhat embarrassing. It certainly makes one think twice about the “baller” tag he earned by beating Clark Kellogg at H-O-R-S-E. Secondly, and more emblematically, Obama seemed to have blown his cover leading one to believe he’s posing as a White Sox fan. Check out this great find by Brooks where Obama’s asked to name his favorite White Sox player on Nationals TV:
For as smooth of a talker Obama’s supposed to be, he sure was stumbling and at a loss for words trying to answer that question. The commenters on YouTube have already labeled Obama as a fraud and phony, not far off from my label of him as a poser. I don’t care how many political issues are going through your head, you should be able to recall at least one name if you really were a fan and not just lying. I wasn’t expecting a Ron Karkovice mention, but Ozzie Guillen would have been an easy answer considering he played about 13 years with the Sox and has been their manager the last six. Carlton Fisk certainly comes to mind and at the very least, how tough would it have been to say Frank Thomas who was the cornerstone of the White Sox during the 90s?
Look, I understand that sports isn’t very high on the President’s agenda so it’s not as if I expect the guy to rattle off the White Sox’s pitching rotation, but if he’s speaking from true experience, then how could he not come up with one name for his favorite player? Worse yet, in trying to cover his tracks, he said he liked some Cubs players too and the A’s as well which really shows he’s not a fan. Obama’s allegiance to the White Sox seems nothing other than a ploy to identify himself as a South Sider and a friend of the working class man rather than the actual truth. What a sham.
‘Southside Kid’ Obama Can’t Name a Chisox Player [Sports by Brooks]
President Obama Good at Basketball, Not Bowling and First Pitches [You Been Blinded]