-- President Obama once again proved he’s a sucker for his hometown sports teams, predicting the Chicago Bulls will be among the National Basketball Association’s elite teams this season.
In a halftime interview with TNT, Obama predicted the Bulls and Cavs will be “two of the top teams” in the Eastern Conference, but he couldn’t withhold his favoritism for his hometown team.
“I am a big Bulls fan,” Obama told TNT’s David Aldridge. “It’s very promising.”
The president was less sure of how the Western Conference might develop, ticking off five favorites that he believes will battle for supremacy, including the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors.
“I think in the West, it’s a free-for-all,” Obama said. “Clippers, Golden State, Spurs, Oklahoma, Houston -- that’s a tough lineup.”
“I’m glad my Bulls are over in the East,” he quipped.
The president’s insight lined up closely with the pre-season consensus of NBA experts, though many insiders believe the Atlanta Hawks will finish with a better record than Chicago. The Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors are all expected to compete in the East as well.
Even though the president didn’t predict a champion, he may live to regret his comments if history is any indication. Obama has a tradition to welcome championship teams to the White House to honor their achievements on and off the court. He’s been routinely panned during those events when his predictions have fallen short and he’s had to face champions that he had initially overlooked.
After the game, Obama tweeted how “good” it was to be home in Chicago for a night, and that it was “even better” to watch the Bulls “start the season off right.”