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First basketball fan Obama visits NBA game but leaves early

February 28, 2009 |  1:25 am

As part of the sacrifice that all Americans are being asked to make in these difficult times, President Obama went to an NBA game last night in Washington's Verizon Center and got a courtside seat.

The Wizards were playing some team called the Bulls from a windy city somewhere.

It was a guy's night out. First Lady Michelle Obama, not wearing another sleeveless sheath, did not accompany her husband. But political strategist David Axelrod, speechwriter Jon Favreau and friend Reggie Love sat nearby.

The president spent part of the day making a quick trip to Camp Lejeune to tell the Marines we're leaving Iraq soon. But Friday evening the casually-dressed Obama, a workout fanatic-smoker, was energetically working the (Nicorette?) gum through much of the game. (See video below.)

He spent halftime in the team owners box. Three minutes into the second half Obama returned to his courtside seat. Many people applauded. He made no speeches.

With a few minutes left in the game, however, Obama, apparently bored or to avoid the traffic stopped for his motorcade, decided to leave. The Wizards won 113-90. It took the president four minutes to get home.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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