Basketball fan Obama misses out on ‘Lin-sanity’ in Miami

MIAMI — In the end, there was no time for “Lin-sanity” for President Obama. But that doesn’t mean the baller-in-chief wasn’t thinking about the New York Knicks’ breakout star on his trip here to south Florida.

By coincidence, Obama was in town to speak at the University of Miami and attend several fundraisers on the same day Lin and the Knicks were here to face the Miami Heat and superstar LeBron James.


President Obama speaks during a visit to the University of Miami on Thursday. (Joe Raedle/GETTY IMAGES)

Still, the president, an avid pickup basketball player, had his mind on the game.

“First of all, I just want you to know that I’m resentful I’m not going to the game tonight,” Obama told a crowd of about 450 supporters at the Biltmore Hotel at his first fundraising stop. “I am mad about that. It’s not right, it’s not fair. But I wish you guys all the best.”

According to White House press secretary Jay Carney, Obama has watched Lin play a full game on television and marveled more than once at highlights.

During his appearance at the University of Miami, Obama, speaking in a basketball gymnasium where pictures of the Hurricanes players hung from the rafters, told the crowd of 1,500: “In another life, I would be staying for the Knicks-Heat game tonight, then go up to Orlando for NBA All-Star Weekend.”

The crowd applauded. “But these days, I’ve got a few other things on my plate,” Obama added, drawing laughs. “Just a few.”

On the other hand, Obama could take solace from the fact that his final fundraiser in Orlando was scheduled for the home of Dallas Mavericks star Vince Carter.

And on the plane ride, Carney said, Obama and staff members watched the first half of the game on a live television feed as the Heat jumped to a 51-47 lead at halftime.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

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