I first became a fan of Barack Obama in 2004, after his rousing speech
during the Democratic National Convention. Even if you don't follow or care about American politics, I think you'd still appreciate the speech, and it'd certainly give you a better idea why Obama is one of the frontrunners for the Democratic Party's nomination for next year's elections.
Obama, while maintaining his cool and his charm
, still comes across as fiercely intellectual, a quality that seems to be in short supply (and demand, for that matter) in politics these days. Writer Michael Chabon even spoke glowingly about Obama's writing skills and how well he is able to communicate.
But today I came across this feature on the New York Times about Obama's other passion: basketball
. It's fascinating to read about the potential future-President trading elbows in the paint before hitting the boards, or even talking trash after sinking his patented lefty jumper. More than anything though, Obama and his buddies played basketball for the sense of community it fosters and the easy friendships that could be made on the court.
This reminds me of this interview where former New York Knick and US Senator Bill Bradley compares and contrasts politics and sports, and talks about how you can judge a person from their behavior on the court
. TrueHoop's Henry Abbott takes the idea further
If you hit the open man, pick and move to get your teammates good looks, and play hard D, can you really be a jerk? Or if you take bad shots, don't work hard at either end, and bitch at your teammates night after night, can you really have a good heart off the court? I guess the answer to both is really "probably," but it's hard for me to believe.
Labels: basketball, politics, sports