Will you part the lanes for me, Mr. President?

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulations on winning a second term. I hope you had some time to relax after that grueling campaign.

The reason I write to you today is not in regard to economic development or balancing the federal deficit or stabilizing foreign policy. No, I write to you today about basketball.

In the first four years of your presidency I monitored the news reports of your hoops play, and, honestly, I'm a little bewildered by your choice of playing partners. On the day of the election, I read that you partook in a game that featured former NBA great Scottie Pippen and former pros Randy Brown and Jeff Sanders, along with several former college players, some of whom are members of your cabinet.

This sounds like an exceptionally talented group. But Pippen told reporters afterward, "I thought the lanes opened up when Michael Jordan used to drive. I used to be like, 'Wow.' But then I saw the president drive. I thought they were bringing the whole motorcade through the lane it was so wide."

It seems even with the amount of talent on the court, you're receiving preferential treatment, which is expected considering the line of work you're in. That's why I'd like to invite you out to Oak Park, not so much to experience a hoops game where no one is treated with kid gloves but to simply help open up the lanes for yours truly. See, I could use all the help I can get, and I would think you'd enjoy hitting the hardwood with some of us common folks.   

We are black. We are white. We are Hispanic. We are old. We are not so old — but we are not young, that's a fact. We are fat. We are thin. We are in-between fat and thin — but on our way to fat. We are lawyers, writers, doctors, electricians, accountants, stay-at-home fathers, salesmen, and so on.

None of us can slam dunk or run the court for very long without wheezing. Yes, once in a while we bank a shot in from the three-point line, and we are ridiculed accordingly for it. There's always the occasional air-ball and the errant pass that ends up in the bleachers. We have our moments, too: the backdoor pass, the alley-oop tip-in, the long-range game winner.

So, if you'd like to spend a couple of hours with guys with nicknames like Mack Truck, Mad Dog, Ralphie — aka The Spaniard or The Gladiator — then feel free to contact me. You'll get a kick out of Reese Hutchinson, who I'm told has been playing in the league since James Naismith created the sport (I predict an elbow to the kidneys coming my way for that zing). 

Oh, and there's one other incentive. Those who aren't limping home to pop the Advil and ice the knees go for beers afterwards.




Contact: bspencer@oakpark.com

Twitter: @oakparksports

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