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What’s the best basketball team we can make out of U.S. presidents?

| Monday, October 2, 2017

Title says it all, let’s line them up:

Point Guard: Andrew Jackson

The NBA is a point-guard-driven league currently, but I’m going to go more 90s Chicago Bulls with this lineup. Jackson is the scrappy point guard I’m looking for, who possibly uses excessive force when necessary (see military threat against South Carolina). Also, I’m going to want a floor general out there, and who’s better than an actual general?

Shooting Guard: Barack Obama

Since Obama is basically the only president that has shown actual basketball ability, I’m going to slide him into our scorers slot. Obama will come at with you a variety of moves: isolation (Syria), deep-threat (drone strikes), and is a fantastic assist distributor (Healthcare). Especially now, I was hoping he would have signed an extension, but we’ll make do with him even with his contract.

Small Forward: Thomas Jefferson

This position is for versatility, so I’m selecting a man who can do it all with his Louisiana Purchase for big government and “Notes on the State of Virginia” for limited government. You need a shooting guard? You can slide him up a position, just like when he went from Secretary of State to president, or Congress member to governor of Virginia. This man has shown success on virtually every position on the floor.

Power Forward: Teddy Roosevelt

This selection is a product of the modern NBA. I want a forward that may be undersized but plays tenacious D and switches well on all positions. Who better to disrupt an offense than someone who breaks up banks or leads charges into Cuba? He’s got that grit-and-grind attitude to play that hard-nosed, stand up defense.

Center: Abraham Lincoln

Old Abe is here because of his dimensions. At 6’4” he brings some much-needed size to this already small basketball lineup. He’ll block any shot on the low post like it’s a writ of Habeas Corpus. Free the slaves? How about free your perimeter shooters when defenses have to key on him down low.

Bench Players: Lyndon Johnson, James Polk, Richard Nixon, Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton

Each of these guys have a specific role, and although they’re not starters, their specific assets make them useful for the team. Lyndon Johnson has that intimidation factor with his large frame. Richard Nixon is the spark off the bench where he can dish some creative assists out. Don’t get me wrong, he has his faults, but you have to admire his craftsmanship and tenacity to win no matter that consequences. Bill Clinton gives us some much-needed swag on the team, making him a great locker room guy. You might be saying to yourself, “How can FDR play in a wheelchair?” Have you seen wheelchair basketball players? That sport is crazy hard and their upper bodies are jacked. Also you cannot discredit his length (term-wise or body-wise), which makes him a great bench defender. Polk is my favorite player on the second unit just based on his body of work. He came into the presidency with four promises, kept all of them and then quit after a first term because he accomplished what he needed. This kind of selfless behavior where a player fits into whatever role the team needs is very much needed in an egotistical league of presidential basketball.

There’s your dynamic for the upcoming season — hopefully when they play the much deeper Russian Ruler team we can expect a hard-fought contest. This patriot has money on Barry O and the boys though.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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