Player President: Inside Obama's Sports Brain

If you read about sports at all, you probably know writer Bill Simmons. He has the most popular sports blog out and is known for his frequent 4000+ word posts. Recently, he put out a book, “The Book of Basketball,” which quickly shot to #1 on the New York Times best-seller list.

A couple of days ago, Simmons traveled to the White House and interviewed President Obama strictly about sports. This was a fun and interesting look into the president’s sports brain. We’ve seen him talk about sports before, but it’s usually narrowed down to one topic like when he makes his NCAA Basketball Tournament picks on ESPN. Simmons covered quite a few topics and President Obama was prepared for all of them. There was nothing he brought up that caught the president off-guard.

A few highlights from the interview:

Obama on Linsanity and the Chicago Bulls

*Obama doesn’t watch cable news; but, he does watch SportsCenter in the morning. *He has NBA League Pass on his iPad. *He has been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a long time since they’re both from Harvard. *Thinks Jeremy is doing well but as a fan of the Bulls, he’s not worried about Lin. *Can tell you why the Bulls are playing better this season. Hint: Luol Deng.

On Throwing the First Pitch at a Baseball Game

*Obama says it’s completely stressful. *For the White Sox in the American League Championship Series, he lobbed it up and is not so happy with that pitch. *The first time he did it was for a Minor League team. He messed it up but no one knew who he was back then so, it didn’t get on YouTube. *George Bush’s pitch at Yankee Stadium after 9/11 was a strike right down the middle. He gives him “props.” *Says that sports creates a bond in people. In Iraq he made a three-point shot and the soldiers went wild.

On the NBA Lockout

*He figured the players and owners would figure out how to split up the money. *Athletes and owners should remember that the fans can’t even afford to go to the games but still support them. *He says his crossover is solid. He once crossed Clippers star Chris Paul. *Even though he’s the president, people don’t take it easy on him on the basketball court because he talks a lot of trash.

On Football

*He is happy the NCAA may start with a four-team playoff soon. *He thinks football has some significant risks. So, there’s not much you can do about the injuries and concussions. The guys today are bigger and faster than players ever were.