The gym, a 65,000-square-foot facility, is owned by Tim Grover, an athletic trainer for NBA stars including Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

The games have taken on an air of superstition for the Obama campaign after Obama skipped out on a chance to play on the day of the 2008 New Hampshire primary, which he subsequently lost to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPaltry wage gains, rising deficits two key tax reform concerns Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over alleged election interference MORE.

"We made the mistake of not playing basketball once," senior aide Robert Gibbs told USA Today on Monday. "We won't make that mistake again."

But the game drew some criticism from Republicans, including Romney travelling press secretary Rick Gorka.