Barack Obama, Bill Simmons Talk Jeremy Lin, NBA On Grantland Podcast (VIDEO)
Presumably the White House has all sorts of safety protocols and technologies in place to keep any sort of widespread outbreak from reaching the President of the United States. But what if the Oval Office was one of the earliest sources of something that proved highly contagious?
It seems worth asking because President Barack Obama apparently had Linsanity way before the rest of us.
According to Obama, he was first turned on to his fellow Harvard alum by U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan back while Lin was still playing ball in the Ivy League. As Duncan, who played for the Crimson himself, showed during the 2012 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, he knows a thing or two about dominating on the hardwood.
Simmons asked if Obama was "taking credit for Linsanity?"
"I can't take credit for it," Obama responded. "But I'm just saying I was there early."
Back when the early outbreaks of Linsanity were mostly contained to the island of Manhattan and small pockets of northern New Jersey and Connecticut (notably, the area of Bristol), White House Press Secretary Jay Carney revealed that Obama had been "very impressed and fully up to speed" on Lin's ascendance with the Knicks.
Of course, Obama told Simmons that he isn't impressed enough with Lin and the revitalized Knicks to consider them a threat to his beloved Chicago Bulls, a team he joked about welcoming to the White House at some point during the next five years. Republicans and Eastern Conference teams will certainly take note of that statement.
This Obama-Simmons pairing was years in the making as the pair had an interview scheduled in 2008 only to have ESPN pull the plug. Prominent among the other topics they discussed were the college football playoff debate, NFL concussions and the stress of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game.