Before LeBron James rallied Team USA to a win over Brazil in its final Olympic tune-up in the United States, the reigning NBA Finals MVP and the team got a special visit from the President in the locker room.
Obama, an avid basketball fan who has played a pickup game with several members on the 2012 U.S. team, walked in and greeted Kevin Durant and James (referring to him as "champ"). When he walked over to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, Anthony Davis, Obama couldn't help poke fun at the youngest player on the squad.
"What are you all doing with this rookie? Is he carrying the bags and stuff?" Obama asked jokingly, adding. "You know you got to earn it out here?" After laughing at Kobe Bryant's joke about shaving Davis' famous unibrow, Obama adressed the entire team.
"We just wanted to come by, say hello, say congratulations. We couldn't have better representatives for the United States. I know you guys are going to bring back the gold, but I also know you guys will be just a class act over in London. Anyways, you guys are going to do great."
Obama didn't just visit the men's team. He and Vice President Joe Biden also spoke to the U.S. women's team during its practice. Well, Obama did most of the talking. But most of the conversation was about Biden's granddaughter, Maisy, who Obama predicted would be a future Division-I player and may even make the WNBA.
The President told women's head coach Geno Auriemma what the youngster brings to the court, praising her ball-handling and work ethic.
"Here's how you know she's a baller," he said. "I was doing some coaching with the team. So we did a little practice on Sunday. And I said 'you know what, everybody's got to work on their left hand or their weak hand.'"
Obama then explained that in the next game, Maisy was "missing some layups" despite usually scoring most of the team's points. He said that Biden told her she seemed "a little off today."
"She said, 'Grandpa, you didn't notice see, the President told me to work on my left. So I was only shooting left handed in that game.' You know, it's that attitude. When you're 10, and you go through a whole game and you're just working on it. You watch."
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