President Barack Obama played plenty of basketball during his time in office, often with actors or professional NBA players. It appears as though he’s pretty good, too, as evidenced by the many anecdotes from those who played with him over the years that appear in an oral history put together by the folks at GQ.
One particular story stands out, when Chris Paul — one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game — appeared to get crossed up by Obama on a fast break.
“I was shocked at how good he was,” Paul said. “Nice lefty jump shot. But he got lucky one time on the break. I sort of jumped out, made him guess which way to go and he made the right play, crossed over, made it look like he crossed me up. It’ll never happen again. Hopefully now that he’s out of office we’ll have some time to see if it was real.”
Kobe Bryant also happened to be in the gym at the time, and according to Obama’s former senior advisor David Axelrod, he wasn’t pleased to see the NBA guys playing at less than 100 percent.
“Kobe Bryant was not playing because he was recovering from an injury,” Axelrod said. “But he sat on the sidelines. The President was sort of having his way, and they were letting him doing it. And Kobe called over Chris Paul and said, “[You’re the] meanest little m—–f—– in the league, and you won’t get within ten feet of this guy.”