by Gautham Nagesh
President Obama’s love for basketball is well-documented, but the First Fan showed he was paying closer attention to the Washington Wizards during his first year in office than one would think.
Obama welcomed the Dallas Mavericks to the White House on Monday with some choice words, according to pool reports. Particularly for former Wizards SG DeShawn Stevenson, traded to Dallas last February.
"People said that Jason Kidd was too old. And I will say that this is the first time I’ve been with some world champions who are my contemporaries," Obama said to laughter. "They said Deshawn Stevenson was too crazy."
I wonder which one of Stevenson’s many colorful antics prompted Obama to call him crazy. (Possibly) cheating on the SATs? Maybe it’s the crack tattooed to his left temple. Or perhaps Obama got a look at this mug shot from last year.
Things grew more amicable soon after, with Obama praising the team for overcoming its creaky joints to beat the heavily favored Heat.
"But these players got it done because they know how good teams win — not just by jumping higher or running faster, but by finding the open man, working together, staying mentally tough, being supportive of each other, playing smarter," Obama said.
"I heard you’re a big, big fan of Michael Jordan," said Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki while presenting the president with a number 23 jersey.
"I was actually — I was 23 before Jordan," Obama told Dirk in thanks. "So he got the number from me, I think. He stole it."