Former, current players appear in ads for Obama, Romney

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We’ve had a number of political posts on our site recently, and this is another one. So if you think Raptors-Thunder is the big matchup on Nov. 6, you might not find this interesting. But we do.

Both President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have found support among the NBA family and have put it to work in recent TV ads.

Obama’s ad is entitled, “The Greatest” and runs 60 seconds. It features Alonzo Mourning, Vince Carter, Dahntay Jones, Etan Thomas, Harrison Barnes, Juwan Howard and former WNBA player Kym Hampton.

Romney’s ad is entitled “Born and Raised in Nevada” and runs 30 seconds. It features former NBA player Greg Anthony, who says he voted for Obama in 2008 but is voting for Romney this time around.

In addition to using NBA players, both ads appear to be targeting swing states. Mourning is a fixture in Florida and Carter, Jones and Barnes all played collegiately in North Carolina. Anthony is from Las Vegas and played at UNLV.

Hat tip to Politico.com.

Obama hoops with ‘Melo and Bosh, no media allowed

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Illustration from orangejuiceblog.com

At a certain point, word will leak out about what exactly went down when President Barack Obama played basketball with a group of current and former NBA players.

It happened after a fundraising dinner last night in New York, and the media was not allowed to watch, film or gawk.

In attendance were Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, NBA commissioner David Stern, Charlotte Bobcats owner and closet Republican Michael Jordan, and retired players Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, Penny Hardaway and Sheryl Swoopes.

After dinner, Obama participated in an informal shootaround with the NBA players and other guests, according to campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

“He’s not taking any one-on-one game tonight,” Jordan said in introducing the president, according to Hans Nichols of Bloomberg News.

More from Nichols:

  • “Mr. Romney, my opponent, his main economic plan is to give everybody in this room a tax cut,” Obama told the NBA crowd. “Now some of you may find that appealing, but the fact of the matter is we can’t afford it.”
  • More than 250 tickets were sold at prices ranging from $2,500 to $50,000.
  • Obama’s remarks were laden with sports metaphors, and he drew a comparison with what he did for increased political participation in the 2008 election with how Jordan spurred interest among non-basketball fans in the 1990s.
  • “So this is my dream team,” Obama said. “It’s very rare that I come to an event where I am like the fifth or sixth most interesting person.” He made a point to mention NBA all-stars who played at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a key battleground state. “We have some Tar Heels in the House,” he said. Jordan has “his North Carolina shorts under his suit,” Obama said. “And that’s important to note.”

(RELATED CONTENT: Political donations to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama Revealed.)

(Editor’s note: A few readers and Twitter followers have discouraged political-related reporting on this site, saying we should keep it all-basketball. The feedback is appreciated, but NBA players and owners are becoming more politically-involved than they were in the past, which is an evolutionary pro sports-related social development that cannot be ignored. The publisher of this site is a registered independent, and we strive to keep our coverage politically neutral.-CS)

 

Romney not the guy to pick down at the courts

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If you play pickup basketball at all, then you have come across the guy at every court or gym who always calls a foul when he takes a love tap on the arm.

That same guy usually does all he can to disrupt the flow of the game by reciting the rulebook and calling every minor violation.

According to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, that guy is Mitt Romney.

Not literally, of course. The Republican presidential candidate is 65 years old and appears to be beyond his days of lacing up the Hyperdunks for a little 3-on-3 or full-court pickup. Figuratively, however, the analogy appears to fit.

On NBC‘s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association used a basketball analogy to describe Romney’s campaign strategy.

“Gov. Romney’s just sort of a guy that you never want to play pickup basketball with,” O’Malley said. “He’s always fouling, and he’s always crying foul.”

Throughout the Republican primary to his current standing as the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Romney’s campaign has been short on details and long on attacks of his opponents. His current target is noted hoopster President Barack Obama, whom he said is running a campaign of “division and anger and hatred.”

Although it is unlikely we will run into Romney at the local courts, we thank O’Malley for his scouting report. Initially, we were under the belief that the book on Romney was that he cannot go left.

RELATED CONTENT: NBA political donations to Romney and Obama revealed 

 

NBA political donations to Mitt Romney and Barack Obama revealed

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NBA owners, players and coaches are taking sides in the 2012 U.S. presidential election, with players and coaches favoring incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and most owners supporting Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

According to research by HoopsHype.com, the largest individual donation was $15,000 (to the Romney campaign) by Michael Gearon of the Atlanta Hawks’ ownership group.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey donated $8,500 to the Romney campaign (outspending his colleague in Boston, Danny Ainge, by $6,000), and $7,500 Romney donations were made by Pat Riley (Miami Heat president), Herb Simon (Indiana Pacers owner), and Thunder minority owner Aubrey McClendon, who donated $2,500 more than principle Oklahoma City owner Clay Bennett.

Among Obama supporters, Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich donated $5,000 apiece, as did players Baron Davis, Vince Carter and Grant Hill.

Another notable Obama supporter is NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who donated $2,000. Among owners, Ted Leonsis of the Washington Wizards donated $5,500, and Philadelphia 76ers CEO Adam Aron went into his wallet for $5,000 for the Obama campaign.

A full list of NBA personnel who have donated to presidential candidates can be found here on the HoopsHype site.

Interestingly, from a journalistic perspective, the story of who is giving away their money to presidential candidates was broken overseas with data culled from OpenSecrets.org. HoopsHype is not run by an American, but by a Spaniard living in Madrid. (Full disclosure: HoopsHype.com and SheridanHoops.com are both affiliated with the USAToday Publishing Group.)

“I was reading news about NBA players taking part in Barack Obama fundraisers, so I thought it would be interesting to know which guys were putting their wallet where their mouth is,” said Jorge Sierra, HoopsHype’s editor-in-chief. “Not hard to find since the donations are for the world to see online.

“So far, very little money has gone from the players’ pockets to the campaigns. I was surprised by the amounts the NBA owners are donating, though. It’s not just the presidential candidates, but many other politicians running for office. And that’s not counting the PACs.”