The point-guard-in-chief hosted the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs at the White House on Monday.
President Barack Obama, citing the team’s inclusion of international players, stars “advancing in years,” and a female assistant, says the team serves as “a great metaphor for what America should be all about.”
“It’s the UN of basketball teams,” the president opined. “And it shows the way that this wonderful sport has become an international sport.”
Obama praised the team’s hiring of Becky Hammon, an American who obtained Russian citizenship to play on the Russian national team at the 2008 Olympics. As the father of two daughters, the president said that it “makes me feel good when excellence is recognized regardless of gender.”
The Spurs won their fifth NBA championship in June by beating the Miami Heat. The Spurs, who boast nine players born outside of the continental United States, including Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker, lead the league in foreign players for the third straight season.