Obama talks about sports, post-White House life in GQ interview

Obama Scores at the White House Easter Egg Roll
Obama Scores at the White House Easter Egg Roll

Looking ahead to life after his 15 remaining months in the White House, President Barack Obama said he does not have the temperament to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice, but has fantasized about owning a professional basketball team.

And then there are the commissioner jobs for Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Basketball Association.

"Well, I'm best suited for basketball," Obama, an avid sports fan, said in an interview with sports writer Bill Simmons published by GQ magazine on Tuesday. "But I cannot believe that the commissioner of football gets paid $44 million a year."

In a conversation heavy on sports, Obama said his "guilty pleasure" television viewing is "Big Break," a Golf Channel reality show he watches late at night while running on the treadmill.

He said he "absolutely" would want to be part of an NBA team's ownership. He also said he also draws inspiration from reruns of classic NBA games featuring former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan.

Some of Obama's funniest moments in the White House:

Obama compared his own cool demeanor to that of Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the NFL's Green Bay Packers. "You can't be distracted by what's around you, you've got to be looking downfield," he said.

He admitted to relieving stress with Wiffle balls at a virtual driving range in the White House basement: "Just whack 'em. Whack 'em around a little bit."

Gone are the cigarettes. Obama, an inveterate Nicorette gum chewer, said he has not smoked in five years. "I made a promise that once healthcare passed, I would never have a cigarette again. And I have not," he said, referring to the healthcare law dubbed Obamacare.

Obama, a former law professor, ruled out serving on the Supreme Court, saying, "I don't have the temperament to sit in relative solitude and just opine and write from the bench. I want to be in the action a little bit more."

Obama listed events in his second term that have thrown off his political momentum, ranging from failure to secure congressional passage of tougher gun laws to the emergence of Islamic State militants.

While he is "looser" and more confident because of the success of first-term efforts to stabilize the financial system and pass healthcare and Wall Street reforms, he said he wishes he had done a better job explaining them.

"Somehow in those first two years, I think a certain arrogance crept in, in the sense of thinking as long as we get the policy ready, we didn't have to sell it," Obama said.

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