Obama Was Linsane Before It Was Cool
BS: So you’re catching up, obviously, on the fact that you had been surpassed as the most famous person who was a Harvard graduate.
Obama: Jeremy is —
BS: Jeremy Lin.
Obama: — doing good. And I knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my Secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team. And so way back when, Arne and I were playing and he said, I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard. And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while.
BS: Are you taking credit for “Linsanity”? It kind of feels like you are a little bit.
Obama: I can’t take credit for it, but I’m just saying I was there early.
Omar Is His Favorite Character From The Wire
BS: Settle an office debate. Best Wire character of all time?
Obama: It’s got to be Omar, right? I mean, that guy is unbelievable, right?
Throwing Out The First Pitch Is Stressful
BS: Is that the most stressful thing you have to go through?
Obama: It is about the most stressful thing.
BS: Because if you ground it, it’s on YouTube for the next 10 years.
Obama: Absolutely. And, like you said, you’ve got to wear this bulky vest, and what happens is, they just hand you the ball. [Laughter.] They say, "Here," and you walk up. If you had three tries, you’d be fine. You’d throw a fast strike somewhere in there. But if it’s that first ball, each time I go up there my thinking is, All right, I’m just going to blaze this thing in. And then I’m thinking, Man, if I throw a grounder that’s going to be a problem. So then I end up kind of lofting it up a little bit and —
BS: So you throw a changeup.
Obama: Yes, it clears the plate but it’s not what you’d like. During practice, you’re throwing heat.
Michael Jordan Is The Best Basketball Player Of All Time
BS: So who — because we’re running out of time — quickly, who do you think is the best basketball player ever?
Obama: You got to go with Jordan. That's —
BS: Is that a Chicago pick? Or an NBA —
Obama: No, no, no, that's an NBA pick. You’ve never had a combination of talent and fierce will to win and longevity and rising to the occasion. I haven’t seen it. You’ve got guys who are comparable in terms of talent. I mean, I think LeBron is as talented as Michael is. I think you’ve got guys like Bird who had that — Bird or Magic who had that same will to win. But combining that package, and then just always being there at the moment, very rarely not — hitting that shot like Utah right at the end, right?
Obama Is Planning On Five More Years In The White House To Welcome The World Champion Chicago Bulls
BS: Over the last five years, how many times have you envisioned welcoming the world champion Chicago Bulls to the White House?
Obama: Every year. And it hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen.
BS: It will happen? You’re like Joe Namath — you’re guaranteeing it.
Obama: Well, I’ve got another five years here and — [laughter] —
BS: You’re guaranteeing that, too. [Laughter.]
Obama: — somewhere along the line my Bulls are going to come through here. Absolutely.
BS: You’ll probably cry. You’ll well up a little bit.
Obama: I probably won’t do the whole Jordan-hugging-the-ball thing.
BS: Right. Him lying on the ground. [Laughter.]
Obama: That would be a little extreme. I’ll be pretty happy, though.
Obama: "My Crossover Is Solid"
Obama: I love Chris Paul. He’s a great guy.
He’s on my Presidential Fitness Council. And I’ve gotten to know a lot of these guys, because for my 49th birthday I had my own little All-Star Game here.
BS: I heard about that. I wasn’t invited.
Obama: You weren’t? Maybe next time. So Chris was one of the guys who played. And I did a little crossover on him. He claims that he could have stolen the ball. Everybody who was there knows that that’s not true. The second time, he might have stolen the ball. The first time he didn’t know I had that move on me.
BS: So you surprised him with it?
Obama: I did, yes. Yes. My crossover is solid.