President Barack Obama would consider being an NBA team owner under the "right circumstances," said Press Secretary Josh Earnest, according to ESPN
Obama, 54, officially leaves office in January.
Earnest said the president has "discussed" becoming part of an ownership group for an NBA franchise, said ESPN. Earnest didn't say for what team, but Obama is a well-known fan of sports teams from his adopted hometown of Chicago.
Obama said in a November GQ magazine
interview that he would "absolutely" be interested in being part of an ownership group one day.
"Well, you know, I know (Jerry) Reinsdorf (owner of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox) pretty good," Obama told GQ. "He's not giving that thing up anytime soon. But I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be. I think it'd be terrific."
Earnest told ESPN on Wednesday that the president would pursue an ownership opportunity "potentially … under the right circumstances."
Obama called Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue on Thursday to congratulate him on leading the squad to the NBA title, the city's first professional sports title in more than 50 years, reported the Cleveland Plain Dealer
"You should be proud of yourself," Obama told Lue in the phone call. "You did a great job on this and I really do think you brought cohesion, steadiness and a focus to the team. It really showed itself. You should feel good about what you did. Pretty good for a first year coach."
The Cavaliers posted the conversation on its Twitter account Thursday. Lue told the Plain Dealer that he wanted to make the team's customary trip to the White House before Obama term ends, even if the team had to travel to Washington, D.C. during the preseason.
Obama told Lue he is still a big basketball fan, but he gave up playing competitively, said the Plain Dealer.
"I hung it up about two years ago," the president said. "I had too many friends – seeing that Achilles pop and being in a boot for six months."
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