Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Obama talks hoops with Jimmy Kimmel. Pool report.


On Friday, Jimmy Kimmel interviewed presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Here's the pool report from Amy Chozick of the The Wall Street Journal.

The interview was " via satellite from a conference room at the Sheraton in Philadelphia. The program will air on Sunday after the NBA finals. The interview was basketball themed and most of the questions were about, yes, basketball.

Questions are paraphrased unless they are in quotes.

Kimmel: Happy Fathers Day. What’s a typical Father’s Day at the Obama house?

Obama: We usually have some experiment with waffles or pancakes and there’s a lot of cleanup afterwards...They come with stuff we wouldn’t normally put on pancakes like whipped cream…. Then we go to church.

(insert from Lynn Sweet: The Obamas quit Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side last week. end insert)

Kimmel: Are you required to report gifts as a public servant?

Obama: Only of it’s over $50 but my children are pretty stingy…

Kimmel asked Obama how often he plays basketball. He said about once a week and told the story of how he played in Iowa and won and didn’t play in New Hampshire and lost and now plays before every contest.

When asked if he would put a basketball court in the White House, Obama said “I hear there’s a bowling alley and obviously that didn’t go to well so we’re going to put in a basketball court.”

They talked about Obama’s brother-in-law who is a basketball coach at Oregon State. Obama said he always plays with Reggie Love and talked about his background at Duke and in the NFL.

Kimmel asked if he and Reggie shower together or separately after the games. “Jimmy, we’re not going to discuss this now,” Obama laughed.

Obama said he has been watching the NBA finals. He’s a Bulls fan so isn’t behind one particular team but he said he “did not anticipate Boston manhandling the Lakers like they have.”

“You’re big on hope, senator. Do you think the Lakers have hope?” Kimmel asked.

“Kobe Bryant is the best player in he world and is basically unstoppable when he is at the top of his game,” Obama said.

“Are you worried that if the Lakers do come back it might inspire Hillary Clinton to get back in the race?” Kimmel asked.

Obama was quick to reply: “Sen. Clinton and I are on the same team.”

Kimmel said he is interested in being Obama’s running mate and would like to get on his short list of potential candidates.

Obama said he’s sure the talk-show host would bring in a lot of new voters but added “I just don’t think you vet. That whole ting with [Ben] Affleck. That’s just not going to work.”



Obama couldn't make the starting 5 of his high school basketball team, and his campaign manager's previous claim to fame was as the father of Michael Axelrod, the inebriated young man who was harrassing Gina Davis at an NBA match to the point that her husband Antonio felt it necessary to intervene from the court. Resulting in a lengthy suspension for the NBA star and a frivolous lawsuit from young Axelrod to the tune of $1 million against the Davis family. Despite those dubious ties to the game, the Obama/basketball analogy seems apt at the moment with the Tim Donaghy statements concerning the fixing of matches. Certainly his "victory" in the primary is worthy of a Grand Jury investigation.

Obama shouldn't talk that way about the Lakers, after all, he almost got beat by a girl !

When the comment was made about Obama and Reggie Love showering together, was it a statement on Obama's bisexuality? Maybe you should ask Obama if he showers with Nick Colvin? Any showers with Donald Young? Think about it!

Leave a comment

Get the Sweet widget

More widgets


Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Stay in touch

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 14, 2008 8:51 AM.

Tim Russert dies while at work at NBC bureau in Washington. "Explainer-in-Chief" Tributes was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama Philadelphia fund-raiser features Clinton backers Nutter, Rendell is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.