President Obama was playing basketball with personal assistant Reggie Love at the Fort McNair athletic facility last Saturday when he was asked about the NBA owners and players finally reaching a tentative agreement after an almost five-month stalemate. Obama gave a thumbs up and said, “Good deal.”
The near-resolution of the NBA lockout has been a welcome occurence for owners, players, coaches, executives, trainers, other team employees, arena workers and especially, fans like the Baller-in-Chief. But the downside of that deal for the president is that the Obama Classic will have to be postponed until next summer.
The celebrity fundraising game was scheduled for Dec. 12 but was immediately placed in peril when the NBA announced that training camps would begin on Dec. 9. Obama had pushed for the NBA to reach a compromise or risk long-term damage, but his reelection campaign capitalized on the extended lockout to organize an all-star exhibition game that would raise money for the Obama Victory Fund, which supports both the president’s 2012 campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Obama received commitments from current NBA stars such as Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, Amare Stoudemire, Paul Pierce and Wizards guard John Wall; NBA legends Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Reggie Miller; WNBA star Tina Thompson; and Cheryl Miller. Celtics Coach Doc Rivers was also expected to participate and the NBA had even granted special dispensation for league executives to interact with players. The Classic even had some snazzy uniforms, which can still be purchased on Obama’s campaign Web site.
Paul, Baron Davis and Vince Carter sent a letter to people who had already purchased tickets, which ranged from $100 to $5,000. It read:
Dear Basketball Fans --
The good news is that basketball is coming back this month.
Unfortunately, that means the Obama Classic is being postponed.
Don’t worry: Any tickets you’ve purchased will still be honored at the rescheduled event. It’s on the calendar for Summer 2012.
And we can tell you it’s going to be a game you won’t want to miss. We’ve personally talked to more than a dozen players and legends who are eager to get out there and have some fun in support of President Obama.
We’re sorry to delay the event, but it’s safe to say this game will be worth waiting for. It’s going to be a great time.
We’ll see you out there. Until then, thanks for your support.
Vince, Baron, and Chris
P.S. -- If you want reserve your seats for the Summer game now, we’re going to leave this page up and will keep in touch with you about who’s going to be playing.