Court Vision: Barack Obama, Scottie Pippen hoop it up on Election Day
By Ben Golliver
• Be sure to read Rob Mahoney’s new Monday column here on The Point Forward, “The Fundamentals.”
• President Barack Obama spent Election Day hooping it up in Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Around 1 p.m., Obama’s motorcade arrived at the Hope Athletic Center on the West Side where the president played basketball with staff and friends. A White House spokeswoman said he played with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Reggie Love, Mike Ramos, Marty Nesbitt and others.
Alexi Giannoulias’ Twitter account said he was also playing. He tweeted that he was on a team with Obama and former Bulls Scottie Pippen and Randy Brown.
After basketball, Obama headed back to his South Side home, where he is expected to eat dinner with family tonight before heading to McCormick Place for a rally tonight.
• NBA.com has quotes and photos from Pippen.
“I thought the lanes opened up when Michael Jordan used to drive,” laughed Pippen. “I used to be like, wow. But when I saw the President drive, I thought they were bringing the whole motorcade through the lane it was so wide.”
• LeBron James talks voting with FoxSportsFlorida.com and says he has been “second-guessed” for publicly supporting Obama. He’s used his Twitter account in recent days to encourage his followers to cast ballots.
• Speaking of ballots, ESPNLA.com reports that Dwight Howard isn’t a fan of the NBA’s decision to remove the “center” designation on its All-Star ballots. Now, fans can only vote for two guards and three frontcourt players.
“I don’t like it at all,” emphatically stated the three-time defensive player of the year. “We work just as hard as anybody else. I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position which has been here for life. You need a center on the court. So I don’t think it’s right. That’s like taking away a guard. That’s how I feel.
“It’s been that way since they started All-Star Games, so why change it now? Because centers shoot 3′s now?”
• The Orange County Register reports that Clippers forward Blake Griffin has a “burst bursa sac” in his elbow that’s causing him discomfort. Griffin was 2-for-6 outside the paint on Monday; 7-for-8 inside the paint.
Bursa sacs are small pouches filled with fluid that cushion and lubricate joints. While the injury is painful, Griffin is expected to play through it.
Before Monday’s game with Cleveland, Griffin showed discomfort on his face as he warmed up, missing his first few shots well short.
• Lamar Odom has given the Clippers next to nothing so far this season, as noted Monday. He just hasn’t been the same since he played for the Lakers… and then this video from the preseason shows up, in which he introduces himself as a member of the Lakers while wearing a Clippers jersey. Oh boy.
• Blazers rookie Damian Lillard didn’t sound too bummed after crashing back to earth in a loss to the Mavericks. From Jason Quick of The Oregonian.
The result was Lillard’s first stinker of the season: 2-for-13 shooting, including 1-for-8 on three-pointers. He finished with 13 points, five assists, one steal, and one turnover. The box score left off one important statistic: One lesson learned.
“I don’t even really look at this as adversity,’’ Lillard said. “You are not going to make every shot, you are not going to have a great game every game. The best thing for me to do is watch it, and take what I can from it and move on and try to get ready for the next game.’’
• A photo of Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo teaching high schoolers how to expand quadratic equations. Awesome.
• James Herbert on Hardwood Paroxysm with great execution of a great idea: looking at how veterans influence their younger teammates.
Sunday, November 4, Air Canada Centre. The visitors locker room is mostly empty, but Minnesota Timberwolves rookie guard Alexey Shved is in the corner locker preparing for his second NBA game with player development coach David Adelman. Andrei Kirilenko, Shved’s teammate first with the Russian national team, then with CSKA Moscow and now with the Timberwolves, is one locker over, taking a break to from his book to answer a question about what people should know about the 23-year-old who looks significantly younger.
“[Shved] needs to cut his hair,” said Kirilenko. “But I’m kind of trying to figure out myself at his age. I had a mohawk and crazy stuff on my hair so I guess it’s an age thing.”
• Is there anyone Alan Anderson, now with the Raptors, hasn’t played for over the last few years?
• Stan Van Gundy does seem a bit like a glutton for punishment, an impression he confirms by telling SI.com’s Richard Deitsch that he could coach Dwight Howard again with no problems.
• Keep tabs on the most prolific dunkers with this Dunk-o-meter.
• Rockets GM Daryl Morey tweets that he wants to see his young team, with James Harden now on board, make the the playoffs. Ride that honeymoon feeling for all it’s worth.