We recently wrote about Dr. J appearing on the Colbert Report television program and telling a tale of how he was once set to play a basketball game with President Obama and Kareem Abdul Jabbar. So it was extra interesting today to learn that the President was once a 76ers fan, probably back when Julius Erving used to battle Magic Johnson.
Obama was in California recently at the home of legendary Lakers point guard Magic Johnson when he dropped this bombshell. From Market Watch:
On a fundraising tour out West, President Barack Obama on Monday stopped by the house of basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson. According to a pool report, Obama revealed that he was being tailed on the trip by New Yorker editor David Remnick, who asked the president about the significance of meeting Johnson.
“First of all, understand that I was a 76ers fan,” Obama said, to boos from the audience.
The assumption is that a young Barack was likely engrossed by the magic of the high-flying Dr. J back in the day. How can you blame a kid for looking up to Julius Erving? It didn't get much cooler than the Doc.
President Obama is now a Chicago Bulls fan, but that didn't stop noted Republican Spencer Hawes from reacting to the news that Barack once was a fan of the 76ers.
— Spencer Hawes (@spencerhawes00) November 26, 2013
UPDATE: Here's a full quote via Molly Sullivan:
Look, I'm not one of these people -- hold on -- I do not go to different cities and tell them, man, I love the Lakers, I love the Celtics. (Laughter.) I'm not one of those people who just says what you want to hear. I was a 76ers fan because Dr. J, when I was 12, 13, 14 years old, that was my guy. And so when he went to the 76ers, I became a fan of his. Now, I became a fan of Magic's when he was in college at Michigan State, but I couldn't just suddenly shift and be a fair-weather friend to the Dr.