Presidential change-up on Obama at Heat-Wizards

Presidential change-up on Obama at Heat-Wizards

Published Dec. 18, 2010 10:41 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- King James and President Obama. It was a good idea while it lasted.

The Washington Wizards were expecting the president for Saturday night's game against LeBron James and the Miami Heat, and players arriving at the morning shootaround had to go through a Secret Service pat down. Fans were told to arrive 45 minutes earlier than usual because of enhanced security.

But the Secret Service abruptly departed the Verizon Center at noon. No more bomb-sniffing dogs. No more pat downs. No more talk of the president on the way.

"The arena will be less frenzied than was previously thought," Wizards owner Ted Leonsis posted on his blog about 4 hours before tip-off. "One of the main dignitaries scheduled to attend has been forced to cancel. He will reschedule. ... Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused our employees, fans or members of the media."

The people most inconvenienced were those attending the Georgetown game at the arena earlier in the day. Those fans were also subjected to the pat down and bag checks -- even though the president was never planning to come to that game.

Received 12/18/10 01:56 pm ET