WIth a boost from a six-time NBA champion, President Obama picked up an early win on Election Day. After visiting with volunteers, the President squeezed in a basketball game at the Hope Athletic Center in Chicago shortly after 1 p.m., according to the Chicago Tribune. To round out his team, Obama called in perhaps the most accomplished running mate in NBA history: Scottie Pippen (Watch out Joe Biden?).
According to NBC 5 Chicago, basketball is a part of Obama's election day routine dating back to 2008. Team Obama skipped its game on the day of the 2008 New Hampshire Caucus and suffered a defeat. Not surprisingly, Obama and his advisors found time for some run on Tuesday. Not taking any chances, the 44th President brought in a ringer.
“We made the mistake of not playing basketball once. I can assure you we will not repeat that,” said veteran Obama aide Robert Gibbs, via the Chicago Sun-Times.
A White House spokesperson told the Tribune that Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Reggie Love, Mike Ramos and Marty Nesbitt also participated in the game. Basketball fans might remember Duncan from the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend, where the former Harvard basketball player showed off his skills during the annual celebrity game.
"We did this four years ago and had a lot of fun," Duncan told USA Today after the 2012 election day game. "There was real good camaraderie, and he's worked so amazingly hard, it was a chance to relax with friends for a couple of hours. It brought good luck four years ago. Hopefully, it will bring good luck again."
Based on a tweet from former Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who was also involved in the game, Duncan was on the opposite team from Obama and Pippen.
With tensions running high regarding the election and the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, not everyone on Twitter seemed pleased that Obama was sticking to this tradition. Of course, others wondered why Obama didn't get Michael Jordan.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Obama skipped his traditional pickup basketball game before the Iowa caucus in 2008.
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