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Five Days After the Fact, President Barack Obama Congratulates the Dallas Mavericks on Winning the NBA Title

There is a presidential tradition that the sitting president calls the head coach, or manager, of the team that wins a major college or professional championship.  Sometimes, like with the 49ers winning Super Bowl XVI, the President calls while the team is still celebrating in the locker room.  Otherwise, the president’s call is usually within the next day or two.

Brandon Wade, Getty Images

However, with President Obama’s favorite sport, his congratulatory call to Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle came five days after they won the NBA Championship. In fact, it came after the City of Dallas honored their champions with a parade.


The White House released the following statement today at 5:28pm:



Office of the Press Secretary


June 17, 2011

Readout of the President’s Call With Mavericks Coach Rick Carlisle

Earlier today, President Obama called Rick Carlisle, head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, to congratulate him and his team on winning the NBA Finals.  The President told Coach Carlisle that he is really proud of the way the team played and congratulated him on the job he did coaching the team.

The President highlighted the performances of several players including Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and JJ Barea.  The President said he looked forward to congratulating the team in person at the White House.

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

After last season President Obama congratulated the L.A. Lakers and in fact made a trip to Los Angeles.  Now a conspiracy theorist could say that since one of the president’s favorite teams didn’t win, he was snubbing the Mavericks, but I don’t think that was the case.

However, it would have been better PR, no matter which side of the aisle you sit on, if the president’s call to the Mavericks occurred sooner rather than later.

Hopefully, the Mavericks trip to the White House will be able to take place during the early portion of the 2011-2012 season.  Otherwise, that probably means the NBA is entrenched in a lockout and there are concerns about a season being cancelled.


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