|Obama has game, but can he beat MV3?|
When the president says he wants you to come over to play some hoops, you go. Especially if you're a gold-medal-winning NBA champion who comes from the same neighborhood in Chicago.
Dwyane Wade will meet with Obama in Washington, D.C., for a Father's Day weekend full of events aimed at promoting male mentorship. There will be speeches to high schoolers, a barbecue, and -- probably -- some one-on-one.
On whether he'd talk-trash with the 46-year-old leader of the free world, Wade joked:
"I would totally win, hands down. There's no need for me to trash-talk. It wouldn't be fair. It would be like him trash-talking to me in a debate. He would totally kill me in a debate, so why would he trash-talk to me? Just murder me with silence."
ESPN's Wright Thompson (a regular in the Best American Sports Writing anthologies) has a great new piece about how coveted a run with President Obama can be and how much power brokering can occur on the wooden court.
"I have to imagine Obama would be in his fave five," Thompson told me, joking about Wade's T-Mobile commercials.
"So many things about being president suck," Thompson told me. "But if you're a basketball fan and Lebron James shows up or Dwyane Wade shows up -- everybody is still a little kid somewhere inside. And people just show up and present you with stuff. That and Air Force One are definitely the two biggest perks."
From Thompson's story:
"Obama loves all things hoops. By executive fiat, the White House tennis court is being retrofitted for basketball. He mentions the game every other speech, including his controversial commencement address at Notre Dame. There's a blog devoted to his on-court exploits called Baller-in-Chief. His brother-in-law is the coach at Oregon State. His friends hoop. His personal aide, Reggie Love, hooped his way to a national title at Duke and is the gatekeeper for the presidential game. The senior staff hoops. The junior staff hoops. Four members of the Cabinet hoop. Wanna guess what comes next? There's a new prize to be won.
"'What's the hottest invite in Washington?'" former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers asks. "'Yeah, it's great to go to White House state dinners or Stevie Wonder kinds of events. But what's the sine qua non? It's a pickup game with Obama. That's the inner, inner, inner sanctum. Proximity is everything in this town. How close are you to the epicenter?'"
Judging by Obama's moves here (and yeah, everywhere you've ever seen our president playing his favorite game), Wade won't have an easy task.