President Obama Shoots Hoops With NBA 'Dream Team'

By Jill Colvin on August 23, 2012 7:25am 

LINCOLN CENTER — President Barack Obama convened his very own 'Dream Team' at Lincoln Center Wednesday night, capping off a day of big-money fundraisers starring some of basketball's most legendary stars.

Former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan, New York Knicks all-time favorites Patrick Ewing, Bill Bradley and Walter "Clyde" Frazier, and NBA commissioner David Stern joined the president at the dinner, where he addressed a group of about 120 donors seated at tables on the stage of the venue's grand Alice Tully Hall.

“This is my Dream Team,” the president told the donors, who paid $20,000 a plate to attend.

“It is very rare I come to an event where I’m like the fifth or sixth most interesting person. Usually the folks want to take a picture with or sit next to me, or talk to me," he joked. "That has not been the case at this event, and I completely understand.”

Keeping with the theme, Obama peppered his usual stump speech with basketball references, comparing the campaign to a do-or-die game.

This election is the most consequential of his lifetime, he said, joking that, since 2008, much has changed.

“It was kind of trendy to be a supporter of Obama” then, he said, describing how people who hadn't followed politics had gotten involved. "Just like non-basketball fans started watching the Chicago Bulls back in the ‘90s," in Jordan’s heyday.

This time around, Obama said, the stakes are higher, and Democrats can't drop the ball.

“We are in the fourth quarter. We're up by a few points, but the other side is coming strong and they play a little dirty,” he said, drawing laughs.

After the dinner, the president headed to the Jazz at Lincoln Center building for a casual “shootaround" with donors and players.

Earlier in the day, a host of current and former NBA players helped add to Obama’s campaign coffers with an autograph signing and “skills camp” competition.

Combined, the events were expected to bring in about $3 million for the president’s reelection campaign.

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