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President Obama waiting for a Bulls championship visit
by Adam Fluck
Posted on Mar 1
President Barack Obama has voiced his support for the Chicago Bulls before. But in an interview with ESPN’s Bill Simmons on Wednesday, he raised the stakes, saying he believes the Bulls will win a championship before his time in office ends.
When asked by Simmons, Grantland’s editor-in-chief, how many times he has envisioned welcoming the Bulls to the White House, Obama responded: “Every year. And it hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen.”
Given that he’s up for re-election this fall, Obama added that he’s “got another five years” at the White House, ample time to welcome the Bulls after winning a seventh world championship.
“Somewhere along the line my Bulls are going to come through here,” Obama told Simmons. “Absolutely.”
Obama also shared why he believes this year could be the Bulls’ time.
“[Luol] Deng seems more confident. [Carlos] Boozer is in better shape. Derrick Rose has matured,” said Obama in the 26-minute podcast. “I’m a little worried about making sure that they give him enough rest with the back spasms that he had. But the Bulls, I think, are right in there. I think they’ve got a great chance.
“The Heat are playing better than anybody right now. And when those folks get going on a fast break, it’s over,” Obama added. “But during the playoffs things slow down a little bit, and you got to run a half-court offense, and in that situation, I think the Bulls got a shot.”
President Obama also thanked Simmons, a lifelong Celtics fan, for the addition of Tom Thibodeau, who served as Doc Rivers’ Associate Head Coach from 2007-2010 when Boston made two trips to the NBA Finals and won the 2008 NBA Championship.
“He’s an outstanding coach,” said Obama of Thibodeau. “Now, Doc Rivers is a great coach as well, but for us to have been able to get that guy, he has just done a great job with what we’ve got.”
As for the craze surrounding the play of New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin, it comes as no surprise to Obama. That’s because Arne Duncan, Obama’s Secretary of Education and the former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, also attended Harvard and took note of Lin during his college years.
However, Obama isn’t concerned about the Knicks as a threat to thwart the Bulls’ title hopes and come out of the Eastern Conference.
“I’m not worried,” stated Obama. “No, if you look at what has been happening with the Bulls, even with Rose out, even with Deng out, [they’ve] still got one of the best records in the league.”
>> Grantland.com: B.S. Report: Barack Obama (transcript and podcast)