Basketball Teams: American Presidents vs. World Leaders

Obama Playing Basketball

And now, for something that isn’t complaining about the number of times Tom Jackson says football, a piece from out historical correspondent.

Tired of lists that focus solely on talented basketball players, I’ve decided to compose a list of the best starting five, sixth man, and coach among American and World leaders.  This operates on the assumption that world leaders are usually shorter than basketball players, and therefore anyone who’s 6’1” now or 5’10” several centuries ago when people were shorter would be tall enough to play forward, and guards can start at 5’10” in today’s height or 5’7” in yesterday’s.
Let’s look at the American team:

  • Forward: Barack Obama.  Obama is the only president who we know plays basketball.  He’s the only president who went one-on-one with Rajon Rondo and was reportedly partially successful.  Also, he’s the only black president.  NBA Equivalent: Teyshaun Prince
  • Forward: Abraham Lincoln.  The tallest President we’ve ever had.  He reportedly split rails and lifted big jugs of whiskey as a hobby.  No-brainer.  NBA Equivalent: Kevin Love
  • Center: George Washington.  At 6’2”, George Washington is two inches shorter than Lincoln (but was still enormous for his day and age).  He also had no teeth, and problems down there.  But he brings perhaps the best athleticism from the Revolutionary era, and also some beefcake to a fairly skinny frontcourt. NBA Equivalent: Glen Davis
  • Guard: Gerald Ford.  You wouldn’t know it watching Chevy Chase, but Ford was actually one of the most athletic presidents we’ve ever had.  Sure, he played football (made the College All-Star Game) instead of basketball, but so what?  Also, he was 6’0” NBA Equivalent: Charlie Ward
  • Guard: Dwight D. Eisenhower.  A scrappy 5’10½” general/president at the point (or should I say Point?). Was a good football player, until Jim Thorpe ran him over.  Also, probably one of the best presidential golfers NBA Equivalent: Jason Kidd
  • Sixth Man: Teddy Roosevelt.  He was only 5’10”, overweight, and wore glasses.  But he exemplified the “strenous life”, and was clearly the most macho of all of our presidents.  The guy got shot in the middle of speech and finished it!  NBA Equivalent: Nate Robinson
  • Coach: Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Apart from having polio, FDR was one of our most athletic presidents.  He probably had some of the best upper body strength of all the Presidents, as he had to swim and move himself around using mostly his arms.  In terms of being a tactician, consider that he was Commander-in-Chief during WWII NBA Equivalent: George Karl

And here’s the international team:

  • Center: Charles de Gaulle, France.  He was 6’5”.  When he was in the army, he got shot, stabbed, and gassed…and lived.  Oh, and did I mention he was 6’5”?  NBA Equivalent: Dominique Wilkins
  • Forward: Henry VIII, England.  He was reportedly 6’3”, an astoundingly tall height for the Renaissance.  Brings beefcake to the table…chock full of mutton legs and red meat (and syphilis).  Also has stamina from boffing all those wives and mistresses.  NBA Equivalent: Todd MacCulloch
  • Forward: Shaka, Zulus.  Four words for you: White. Men. Can’t. Jump.  Also was very buff and went around carrying a spear.  NBA Equivalent: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

And for the backcourt, I’m going ancient.  Do we know how tall these guys were?  No.  Are they super-intense, which would probably translate to blood on the court?  Yes.  Oh, and new rule…you can’t bring a sword out of the locker room

  • Guard: Commonus, Roman Empire.  The son and successor to Marcus Aurelius, he was one in a noble tradition of Roman Emperors who were off their keesters.  He fought gladiators in the Forum.  Nuff said.  NBA Equivalent: Danilo Gallinari
  • Guard: Leonidas, Sparta.  THIS IS SPARTA!!!!  Did I mention that Spartans had a better athletic/military training then many Olympic teams do. NBA Equivalent: Goran Dragic
  •  Sixth Man: George V, England. Pretty much the English version of Teddy Roosevelt.  Kicked it in India, hunted big game, shot a thousand pheasants in one afternoon. Was he as macho as T.R.?  Probably not.  Was anybody as macho as T.R.?  Probably not  NBA Equivalent: Ben Gordon
  • Coach: Charles Martel, Franks.  He saved Europe from being conquered by the Muslims.  Could he save the International team from being routed by Obama?  Maybe. NBA Equivalent: Lawrence Frank



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