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#pounditThursday, January 28, 2021

Articles tagged: Barack Obama

Barack Obama thanks NBA players for covering arena staff salaries

Barack Obama

Various NBA players have donated their own money to pay arena staff while the NBA is shutting down, and they’re getting some high-level recognition for it.

Former President Barack Obama shared a news story about the various players on Saturday and thanked several of them by name for their efforts to help others.

This has become a very positive trend around the league, and some of these players are going above and beyond to take care of staff. The recognition is well-deserved at a time like this.

Wizards owner consulted Barack Obama on franchise changes

Barack Obama

Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis has aggressively tried to reshape the organizational culture this offseason, and one of those he consulted is an unlikely name.

According to Candace Buckner of the Washington Post, Leonsis spoke to President Barack Obama about the state of the Wizards. Obama, an avowed NBA fan, reportedly spoke to Leonsis regularly about the state of the NBA, and Leonsis opted to get his input on organizational matters.

According to the report, Obama spoke with Leonsis about building a positive culture in the organization, as well as the “beauty of the game, teamwork, [and] sacrifice” in their late-April conversation. Obama also advised Leonsis to invest in amateur scouting in Africa.

Leonsis has made it quite clear that he wants to become more involved in team operations. Apparently talking to President Obama is all part of the process.

Warriors met with Barack Obama in DC, skip White House visit

Stephen Curry

The Golden State Warriors made a political statement during their visit to Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

The Warriors were in town to play the Washington Wizards, whom they beat 126-118. Rather than meet with President Trump at the White House and be celebrated for their championship season last year, the players on the team instead met with former US president Barack Obama.

The photo was posted to social media by a team security guard but later deleted.

There is history here.

The Warriors also won the championship in 2017, but Steph Curry and others voiced their opposition to a visit to Trump. Trump then said the team was not invited. The Warriors instead spent a day with kids in DC last year during their trip to face the Wizards.

Then last season, LeBron James made it clear that neither the Cavs nor Warriors would visit the White House. The Warriors won the title, and they ended up meeting with Obama during their DC visit.

Perhaps this was best for all parties; we doubt the team’s nutritionists would have been OK with the Warriors eating fast food.

Jim Harbaugh wants the Obamas to serve as honorary Michigan captains

Jim Harbaugh headset

The ever-ambitious Jim Harbaugh is trying to get the former President and First Lady on board with Michigan football.

Harbaugh confirmed to reporters Saturday that he has reached out to try to make Barack and Michelle Obama honorary Michigan captains for a game this season.

“We’re making those asks. Official asks,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN. “In the process of making an official ask. There’s been, ‘Hey we’d like you to do it,’ and now we’re doing officials asks.”

As seen in a picture posted by Harbaugh’s son Jay, the Wolverines coach met with the former President while visiting Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

“It was incredible,” Jim Harbaugh said. “Saw Mrs. Obama as well. He was great. He was really relaxed, working on a lot of things. Shared a lot of insights.”

In addition to rubbing elbows with the Obamas, Harbaugh wants to take his team back to Europe. Talk about a global program.

Kenny Smith says he missed work to talk basketball with President Obama

Kenny Smith

Kenny Smith was not on set for “Inside the NBA” on TNT Monday and instead was in Los Angeles. The TNT analyst did join the show from a remote location for about 5-10 minutes. He was asked why he wasn’t on the show that day and said he’s been spending his time hanging out with President Obama.

“This is — Barry as I call him — Barack Obama’s second day off. So he asked me to come and talk basketball with him, fill him in with what’s been going on for the last eight years,” Smith said Monday during a brief appearance on TNT via satellite. “So Barry and I have been talking sports, catching him up on the last eight years.”

President Obama left office last week as Friday was the inauguration for new President Trump. Obama and his family headed to Southern California and spent a few days in Palm Springs before leaving for Necker Island.

President Obama is a well known sports fan — in particular he has played and enjoys basketball — so it would make sense for him to want to unwind by talking sports with Smith, who lives in Southern California. Of all reasons to miss work, that ranks very high up there.

President Obama wants JR Smith to put a shirt on


J.R. Smith took his shirt off while the Cleveland Cavaliers were celebrating their Game 7 win over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night, and it seems like he has been shirtless since. President Barack Obama would like that to change.

Obama placed a congratulatory phone call to Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue on Thursday, and the Commander in Chief ended it by asking Lue to have Smith put a shirt on.

“Tell J.R. and everybody to put a shirt on, though,” Obama joked. “You can’t just be walking around without a shirt all week. Now (Iman) Shumpert’s taking off his shirt, come on man. But I guess if you’re built like that, you know…”

After Smith went viral for celebrating with no shirt on, he continued to embrace the trend by riding through the streets of Cleveland half-naked. You can see some footage from the victory parade here.

You can’t blame Smith for being excited, but he may have to get fully dressed now. That’s an order that comes directly from the top.

President Obama clowns Steph Curry at Connect Four in mentoring PSA (Video)


Stephen Curry takes a starring role alongside President Obama in a new PSA in support of Obama’s national mentoring campaign.

As part of The “In Real Life” campaign, part of the National Mentoring Partnership launched by the President and My Brother’s Keeper, Obama mentors Curry in everything from resume building, Connect Four, science projects, and even his jump shot.

The President owns at Connect Four and even has a victory dance. Who knew?

The Curry family and the Obama family have been linking up for all sorts of quality videos lately. All we need now is Riley Curry and the Obama sisters to do something together. Make it happen, world.

Barack Obama says he’s enjoyed watching Steph Curry more than anyone since MJ


Steph Curry can forget about all that criticism from NBA greats of days gone by. The President of the United States is a big fan.

President Barack Obama told Maya Rhodan of TIME that he hasn’t had this much fun watching a player since Michael Jordan.

“Steph Curry is the greatest shooter that I’ve ever seen,” President Obama said, bringing up the game Curry had in February against Oklahoma City. “I am having more fun watching him than anybody since Michael Jordan.”

Obama wouldn’t go as far to say that Curry is better than Jordan, mind you.

“Even Steph wouldn’t necessarily say he’s better than Jordan,” Obama said. “It’s rare where you get somebody who’s already at the pinnacle and then they take it a notch higher.”

This isn’t the first time the President has chimed in on Curry. Last time he mentioned him, he compared him to Kyle Korver. It appears that Curry’s season has taken him above Korver in the President’s book of shooters.

H/T ProBasketballTalk

Barack Obama: No one can outshoot Stephen Curry


President Barack Obama is a busy man, but on Thursday he set aside some time to answer questions via his new Twitter account. The president responded to inquiries about climate change, student loans, and even managed to get some sports in there, specifically basketball.

As a noted Bulls fan, there was little surprise Obama had something to say about the team’s decision to fire Tom Thibodeau. Also, coming across the president’s timeline was his thoughts on JR Smith and whether he can outshoot Stephen Curry to lead the Cavaliers to an NBA title.

Korver and Curry bombing away from deep in the NBA Finals would have been fun to watch. However, the Cavaliers had other ideas. And, even if the Hawks did make it, Korver wouldn’t have been able to participate due to an injury suffered when Matthew Dellavedova dove for a lose ball and rolled into his ankle.

You’ll likely find more than a few people who will say Stephen Curry is the best shooter they’ve ever seen. On the other hand, if you’re going to provide a worthy challenger, the guy who holds the NBA record for consecutive games with a made three-pointer isn’t a bad choice.

Cubs and Sky point out President Obama did not follow them on Twitter


After having his tweets appear under the official account for the White House, President Barack Obama now has his very own Twitter account.

Not surprisingly, many of the accounts the president follows are government officials and agencies. Perhaps it’s also not a shock to see the Bulls, Bears, White Sox, and Blackhawks included as President Obama is a noted fan of sports and Chicago teams.

However, missing are the Cubs and Sky. Noticing their exclusion, the social media teams for both clubs took the opportunity to politely remind the president he missed them when he went on his following spree.

Michelle Obama is a Cubs fan so the White House is, of course, divided when it comes to baseball loyalties. The Cubs later attempted to get the First Lady to provide some assistance.

We’ll have to stay tuned to see if Michelle had any luck in getting her husband to click the follow button for Chicago’s north side baseball team.