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The President-To-B-Baller
January 15, 2009 9:43 PM   Subscribe

The Audacity of Hoops Alexander Wolff (Sports Illustrated) examines the importance of basketball in Barack Obama's life.
"It wasn't that he made or missed that shot," Robinson says of Obama's three-pointer in front of the troops in Kuwait. "It's that he took it."
posted by Poolio (30 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Craig Robinson (Michelle's brother): B-Ball with Barack
posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Some conservatives liked to say that Sarah Palin was better at basketball than Obama. They got it into there heads or something. I was totally sure that Obama would just school her. Like Palin would be shut down hoops wise. Made me feel like a chauvinist or something. But the thing is, I'm still pretty sure that I'm right. Palin would have nothing on Barack. His outside game is better, he's taller, and he hasn't had a million kids come out of his body (unless you use the rap slang where kids means jizz). Point is I would like to see an awesome one on basketball game Obama v. Palin. Palin would probably throw fouls like a jerk and Obama wouldn't call her on nothing and would use kid gloves. He'd still skill her. Right.
posted by I Foody at 10:17 PM on January 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


i bet there'd be a lot of elbows to the face and stomach sucker punches in that game as well.
posted by camdan at 10:26 PM on January 15, 2009


Not as bad as it could have been, but I was waiting for this and sure enough there it was:

That season, Obama told SI a year ago, he learned about "being part of something and finishing it up. And I learned a lot about discipline, about handling disappointments, about being more team-oriented and realizing that not everything is about you."

The time-honored basketball narrative, told time and time again by broadcasters and beloved by a large section of middle America- that a young black man can't succeed until an old, almost always white, coach teaches him to subsume his individuality and be an anonymous cog in a "system."

(At which point, if it's the college game, the old white guy gets fame, universal acclaim, and millions of dollars, and the young black guy gets a scholarship which works out to far less than minimum wage.)

posted by drjimmy11 at 10:49 PM on January 15, 2009


This thread is not as bad as it could've been, but I was waiting for this ^^^ and sure enough there it was:

The time-honored basketball narrative, told time and time again by broadcasters and beloved by a large section of middle America- that a young black man can't succeed until an old, almost always white, coach teaches him to subsume his individuality and be an anonymous cog in a "system."

The time honored narrative told time and time again by arm chair point guards/ social commentators and beloved by a large section of those who have never seen any time on the court- That we must find the faults in an organized sport to justify our absolute suckage at anything requiring even the slightest degree of coordination. I'll vouch for every student athlete out there who is earning a degree while still performing athletically at a level unachievable by the vast majority of people who you so arrogantly speak for. Saying that a scholarship works out to far less than minimum wage is an absolute insult to every athlete who has used their physical abilities to achieve a degree along with success in their sport.

Really, you crammed as much bullshit into ~40 words as I have ever seen on this site, and I'm not even excluding the election threads.
posted by clearly at 12:08 AM on January 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


"The Audacity of Hoops" is a brilliant headline.
posted by rongorongo at 1:33 AM on January 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


"The Audacity of Hoops" is a brilliant headline.

disagree.
posted by camdan at 3:03 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Agree. We're tied, going into overtime.
posted by JHarris at 3:21 AM on January 16, 2009


WE GO PLAY HOOP
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:26 AM on January 16, 2009


"The Audacity of Hoops" is a brilliant headline.

disagree..


I'll bet you voted for John "White Men Can't Stump" McCain.
posted by Poolio at 3:47 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can take him. The key is reacting to his first step and not going for his fake. Just watch his belly button. Can't go anywhere without it. But, after Tuesday, I get the sense that playing 1 on 1 with Obama is like playing golf with the Prez. Do not beat him head to head. So, if I play him and lose, y'all know why.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:57 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The President to B Baller isn't a bad line either.

How could they not mention the failure to appoint Bill Bradley somewhere in the administration though?
posted by sien at 4:38 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The time-honored basketball narrative...

This is an extremely good point that seems to be in the wrong thread. Your quote doesn't even mention a coach teaching Obama (let alone that the coach is white). He says he "learned" not that he was "taught", which is not at all the same thing.

I think a more disturbing thing about this article is that sports is supposed to define a "regular American". Obviously a President has to connect with people and s/he does that by showing they are "just like you". The sad thing is that Americans seem to not only define themselves by sports but are actually repelled by intellect. One of the disadvantages Obama faced was being a professor. I mean seriously.
posted by DU at 4:55 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think we can all agree that "The Audacity of Hoops" is better than "Hoop Dreams from My Father", which Wolff used as a subhead.

Can we not?
posted by Poolio at 4:56 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, we can.
posted by cashman at 5:13 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


*dunks cashman with kool-aid*
posted by Poolio at 5:18 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


there's no p in the oolio - thinking a dumb pun is not "brilliant" does not pinpoint my political views. i voted for obama. transplanting "hoops" for "hope" is still retarded. as are those commemorative obama plates. yes, that i bought.
posted by camdan at 5:47 AM on January 16, 2009


I think we can all agree that "The Audacity of Hoops" is better than "Hoop Dreams from My Father", which Wolff used as a subhead.

Since neither is actually supported by the story (it wasn't audacious; it's not about dreams, esp. not from from his father) I'd rather nominate these for the lazy headline awards, I think.

(I forgive Poolio. This is just a goofy website. But Wolff has no excuse.)
posted by rokusan at 5:53 AM on January 16, 2009


Read between the lines, camdan :)
posted by Poolio at 5:55 AM on January 16, 2009


I know some guys that used to play with him on a regular basis in Hyde Park. This article confirms their opinion that he was a clean player, but could trash talk and get aggressive if the situation called for it.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 6:51 AM on January 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


He shoots lefty! This is waaay worse than being black.
posted by Mister_A at 7:16 AM on January 16, 2009


I Foody, I don't like Sarah Palin but you're a chauvinist pig for saying that childbearing would make her a bad bballer.

You know what? I had two kids. I play hoops. I could kick not only your ass on the court, am pretty sure I'd be able to brush my shoulders off after schooling Barack as well.

What the hell were you thinking when you wrote that?

Geezus.
posted by liza at 7:18 AM on January 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Oh I think it's time for a mefiballer meetup.
posted by cashman at 7:44 AM on January 16, 2009


(At which point, if it's the college game, the old white guy gets fame, universal acclaim, and millions of dollars, and the young black guy gets a scholarship which works out to far less than minimum wage.)

The young black guy also gets a chance to earn a college degree, which he had vanishingly small opportunity for without basketball. I hope you're not proposing that we pay the college ball-players... that would mean that other programs go unfunded. Successful (even modestly successful) basketball and football programs foot the bill for a lot of other teams and services at most colleges and universities.
posted by Mister_A at 7:50 AM on January 16, 2009


Oh I think it's time for a mefiballer meetup.

Is this where I say Bring It On?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:23 AM on January 16, 2009


Oh I think it's time for a mefiballer meetup.

Is this where I say Bring It On?


Oh no you di'int!
posted by rokusan at 8:25 AM on January 16, 2009


"The Audacity of Hoops" is better than "Hoop Dreams from My Father", which Wolff used as a subhead.

Writers do not write headlines/subheads; editors do. (This one was good, IMO.)
posted by stargell at 8:33 AM on January 16, 2009


"Asked the boxers-versus-briefs question, Obama gave the pitch-perfect pickup baller's reply: 'I don't answer those humiliating questions, but whichever one it is, I look good in 'em.'"

Coolest. President. Ever.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:22 PM on January 16, 2009


Speaking of audacious hoops (and slightly off-topic), Alexander Wolff not only writes about basketball — a few years ago he decided to start his own pro team in his home state of VT. The Frost Heaves (yes, it's a horrible name) have been very intelligently put together, and league champions every year so far.

We've seen a bunch of games, and they're enormously entertaining. The most interesting rule: "a member of the community is eligible to suit up for, and even play in, every home game."
posted by LeLiLo at 11:27 PM on January 16, 2009


The story continues with Hail to the Hoopster, which claims the current cabinet makes up the best such presidential squad ever: "Arne Duncan, his Secretary of Education, is 6-5, was an all-Ivy League player at Harvard and played professionally in Australia. National Security Adviser Jim Jones played at Georgetown. Attorney General nominee Eric Holder played at Columbia. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is a pickup fanatic. Susan Rice, the proposed ambassador to the United Nations, was a point guard in high school. Even Reggie Love, Obama's personal aide, was a forward on Duke's 2001 NCAA championship team."

And a guy in California wants to donate a White House court to the new president.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:15 PM on January 22, 2009


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