President Obama predicted he'll be in the White House for another five years during an interview with ESPN's "Sports Guy" columnist Bill Simmons.
Obama voiced confidence in his reelection while predicting the Chicago Bulls — his favorite team — would travel to the White House as world champions sometime over the next five years while he is president.
Obama was asked by ESPN Grantland Editor in Chief Bill Simmons how many times since becoming president he envisioned celebrating a Bulls championship with the team at the White House.
"Every year. And it hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen," Obama said.
Simmons then asked the president if he was guaranteeing a victory for the Chicago NBA franchise.
"Well, I’ve got another five years here and somewhere along the line my Bulls are going to come through here. Absolutely," Obama said, laughing, in the wide-ranging podcast released Thursday.
Obama made the same prediction in a radio interview with Univision last week.
The Grantland interview touched on a number of sports topics, including recent NBA phenomenon Jeremy Lin. Obama said he was on the Lin bandwagon before most of America after being tipped off by Secretary of Education Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanStripping opportunity from DC's children Catherine Lhamon will make our schools better, fairer, and more just Providing the transparency parents deserve MORE.
"I knew about Jeremy before you did, or everybody else did, because Arne Duncan, my secretary of Education, was captain of the Harvard team. And so way back when, Arne and I were playing and he said, 'I’m telling you, we’ve got this terrific guard named Jeremy Lin at Harvard.' And then one of my best friends, his son is a freshman at Harvard, and so when he went for a recruiting trip he saw Lin in action. So I’ve been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon for a while," Obama said.
The interview was notable because sports network ESPN had canceled an interview between Obama and Simmons, perhaps the most popular sportswriter in the country, during the 2008 primary. At that time, ESPN executives said they thought political coverage would be inappropriate for the sports network.
The president also touched on interest from professional basketball players in his campaign. During the NBA lockout, Obama organized a pickup game of basketball stars to fundraise for his reelection effort, and has appeared at multiple campaign events with all-stars like Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard and Dallas Mavericks guard Vince Carter.
"Well, you know what, I think they know that I take a great interest in them. And I think they understand what it is to compete. And I think they took some pride in the first African-American president, and so — and I can talk basketball with them," Obama said.
The president also discussed his own prowess on the basketball court, saying his "crossover is solid."
The president discussed the difficulties of some presidential duties, like throwing out the first pitch at baseball games while wearing a bulletproof vest.
"Like you said, you’ve got to wear this bulky vest, and what happens is, they just hand you the ball. They say, 'Here,' and you walk up. If you had three tries, you’d be fine. You’d throw a fast strike somewhere in there. But if it’s that first ball, each time I go up there my thinking is, 'All right, I’m just going to blaze this thing in.' And then I’m thinking, 'Man, if I throw a grounder that’s going to be a problem.' So then I end up kind of lofting it up a little bit and … it clears the plate but it’s not what you’d like. During practice, you’re throwing heat," Obama said.