Barack Obama, the basketball-loving former president, said this week he’d play for the San Antonio Spurs if he were an All-Star free agent in the NBA. The declaration prompted a funny response on Wednesday from Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich.
At an MIT Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, Obama said that as a player he would seek out the five-time champion Spurs because they satisfy his checklist for ideal organizations.
“They’re smart, they’re well-run, they’re focused on team,” he said (listen in the sound clip below). “They treat everybody in the organization with respect, and that is the kind of organization that I want to be a part of. So I would say that over the last 15 years in basketball, San Antonio would be a great example of that.”
“If you look at what they’ve built,” he continued, “it’s just a smart, well-run operation with a good culture.”
Obama’s shoutout did not go unnoticed by the Spurs’ coach, who happens to be a critic of President Donald Trump and a socially conscious fellow. He also has a sense of humor.
“That’s very flattering,” Popovich said, according to the Bay Area News Group. “I’d have to do a background check on him, though, because I’ve heard some things he’s done in the past aren’t very good. I can’t remember where I heard that stuff, but I’d have to do a background check.”
Obama’s Spurs comments begin at the 46:35 mark below.