*President Barack Obama will be in the building for tonight’s NBA season opener between his beloved Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
“He loves the game of basketball,” Cavs star LeBron James said prior to his team’s shootaround Tuesday morning. “We all know that. It’s an honor for me to be a part of a venue and a spectacle that the president would like to come and watch. It’s an honor for sure.”
James, who teamed up with Michelle Obama last week in Akron, Ohio, as a part of a higher-education initiative, said the First Lady did not tip him off about her husband’s plans.
“I don’t think they disclose information like that,” James said with a smirk.
Obama is flying into Chicago on Tuesday to deliver a speech at the annual conference for the International Association of Chiefs of Police at McCormick Place, where he is expected to lobby for stricter gun control in the U.S.
Earlier this month, James also spoke up in favor of stricter gun laws after an infant was shot to death in Cleveland.
Love said he could already feel Obama’s presence in the United Center close to nine hours before tipoff.
“Tonight it’ll be cool to see the president there,” Love said. “I don’t know who he’ll be with, but you can tell he’s going to be in the building by all the suits running around.”
“I believe our league is the greatest league that we have in the world. We have the greatest athletes and greatest fans and so on and so on,” James said. “So [for] the president of the United States to grace us on opening night in Chicago, I’m just honored. Something I can tell my kids a long, long time from now. I’ll actually be able to have the film showing them — kids don’t believe me sometimes — I’ll be able to show them the film that the president of the United States was at a ballgame I played in. That’s pretty cool.”