Friday, November 07, 2008


It was certainly refreshing this week to hear all these athletes and celebrities talk about the election and their appreciation of the fact that Barack Obama was now President. LeBron came out and said he was happy his kids now have proof that they can aspire to be anything in this country. I was listening the radio on election day when Usher came on and said something other than "Yeah" when asked if he was voting for Obama. He made this semi-coherent speech about how Obama getting elected would change the world since no other superpower would ever elect a minority as its leader.

Well as I was watching the Wizards lose a 12-point fourth-quarter lead to the Bucks the other night, this hilarious feature about who on the Wizards would make the best President came on. Be sure to watch until Gilbert comes and talks about Russian bench warmer Aleksiy Pecherov:

But there's more. Here in Washington, the big rumor going around is whether Barack Obama, a former high school point guard and just plain balla, will build a basketball court in the White House to replace Nixon's bowling alley. Actually, he said as much back in April:

"I have sworn that we're taking out the bowling alley in the White House and we're putting in a basketball court," Obama said, according to a pool press report of his visit this afternoon to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle, Ind., today.

One of the big unknowns about the Supreme Court is that it too has a basketball court on its top floor. Because of this, people have taken to calling it "The Highest Court in the Land". I'm not sure whether Barack's court would trump that, though. But already Wizards on hopping on the bandwagon:

“I want to play Obama one-on-one,” Andray Blatche, the Wizards’ 6’11” forward, declared after practice the other day. His teammate Caron Butler jumped in: “It’d be nice to go out there, shoot around with him, tour the White House.”

I think Caron is being a bit more realistic. I'm gonna bet Obama's PR people won't want him playing one-on-one with a guy like Blatche, who just last summer got arrested for soliciting a prostitute who also happened to be an undercover cop.

In general, you gotta love the genuine enthusiasm all of these big time athletes are showing for the electoral process and politics as a whole. It's a welcome change from the "Republicans buy Nikes, too" days of Michael Jordan and the rest of the sporting world's, where there was this insistence on keeping quiet when it came to politics. I just wonder if anyone has told them that they are going to be some of the chief beneficiaries of Barack's much anticipated upper class tax raises.

And what do you know, I have an interesting take on the tax issue from none other than Grant Hill, courtesy of an article by SI's Ian Thomsen to close out the week:

According to the conservative Heritage Foundation, at least 20 NBA players will pay $1 million or more in additional taxes annually under the Obama administration. Can the good will of this election be transformed into a social movement of lasting power?

"The problems that exist are far greater than the benefits of certain tax brackets and certain NBA players,'' Hill said. "During the Bush administration, a lot of guys saved a lot in taxes. But I think a lot of guys are willing to look past that to try to do what's right and make the necessary changes to improve things.''

Enjoy the weekend.

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