Who Would Obama Pick For His #TBT2017 Squad?


By: TBT Staff | @thetournament

Barack Obama Is Looking For Something To Do

On January 20, 2017, Barack Obama will no longer be President of the United States of America. What he does next has been the subject of much speculation among the political media and the world at large. Here’s what we know so far: He’s staying in Washington, DC. That’s it. Blank slate. Tabula rasa.

Let’s examine this man’s current situation, shall we? First, he’s just spent the last 12+ years under the brightest of bright lights, first as a United States Senator from Illinois and then, obviously, as President. Lots of hard work, late nights, endless meetings, stress, etc. Seems like he could use a fun diversion. Second, we know he loves basketball. Not just like you love your coffee in the morning or you love scrolling through Facebook for 3 hours at a time, but in the way plants love air.

The guys lives for basketball. He’s famously a devotee of SportsCenter. He plays pickup with D1 players, NBA stars, former Secretaries of the Department of Education, world leaders, you name it. He knows the game. We're betting he knows about TBT, too. 

It probably goes without saying that he’d dominate TBT’s voting component. Pretty solid track record of getting out the vote. 

Check out this quote from a recent oral history of Obama’s basketball obsession from GQ :

Shane Battier: The President brought us all together and was like, “Look, this isn’t dummy basketball. We’re going hard. We’re playing to win. And when you got a shot, you go block it. You got a dunk, you take it. We’re playing all out here.” We lost the first two games, so it was kind of embarrassing. At the start of the third one, he said, “Look, I’m not losing all three games on my birthday. And that’s an order. So do what you gotta do, but we’re going to win this game.” And we said, “Yes, sir.” Even though it was a friendly pickup game, I think our team went a little bit harder because we had the executive order on our hands. We won. And in fitting fashion, the President hit the game-winning shot. It was point-game, and we gave him the ball, and it all cleared out. He took two dribbles, got to the elbow, raised up, and knocked it down. And he walked it off the court like he knew he was going to hit it. I wouldn’t say it was MJ-esque, but I’m sure in his mind it was MJ-esque.

And this: 

Arthur Jackson: He definitely knows how to play basketball. But the impressive thing to me, and what most people don’t understand, is he knows how to win on the basketball court. He’s not going to shoot it if it’s not money.

And this:

Arne Duncan: I think this has shaped his identity from the time he was a kid. I think, like me, basketball was always a sanctuary for him when stuff in his life was tough. And it’s been a lifelong love affair. Some people cheat the game. He's never cheated a game.

Does that sound like a guy made for TBT or what?

So, with all this in mind, here are some thoughts on who Obama could build a team around for TBT 2017. We’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments, too.

Point Guard: Stefhon Hannah

A native of Chicago, Hannah has consistently performed in TBT. With Hoopville Warriors in TBT 2015 and The Region in TBT 2016, Hannah is lightning quick, experienced, and plays with exactly the sort of grit and swagger Obama loves.

Shooting Guard: Reggie Love

The former Duke captain and national champion (2001), Love is Obama former personal assistant and the man most responsible for pulling together Obama’s pickup games. He’s also among the humans that Obama most trusts in the world. A tremendous trash-talker, too.

Small Forward: Matt Lojeski        

A former University of Hawaii star, Lojeski currently plays for Greek powerhouse Olympiacos, averaging over 13 ppg and nearly 5 rebounds. A solid contributor on both ends of the floor, the Wisconsin-born Lojeski also plays internationally for Belgium.

Power Forward: Kyle Casey

Obama goes with the Harvard grad at the 4. Currently playing in Israel with Hapoel Gilboa Afula, Casey is strong, quick, and versatile and plays with the type of smarts you’d expect from a former Ivy Leaguer.

Center: Carlos Boozer

The former Chicago Bulls center plays now in China and would provide the veteran leadership and toughness that Obama would appreciate. Plus, with his degree in sociology from Duke and his travels all over the world, Boozer is very likely to engage Obama in passionate debate about the cultural gender norms as they relate to expectations of success or failure in Asia (All right, we made that up. Not even sure what that means).

Who would Obama take for backups? We’re guessing he’d definitely list himself as a GM/Player. Arne Duncan can give him some valuable minutes off the bench. There are bound to be a few of his former pickup buddies with prior TBT experience (Dahntay Jones?) who would fit in perfectly, too.