Are Obama staffers divided over White House basketball?

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 8, 2009 

WASHINGTON -- There was a little good natured commotion at the White Press briefing Thursday that ended with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs heading back into the West Wing wondering whether he'd be beaten up by Reggie Love, the president's personal assistant.

It all started when David Jackson of USA Today asked Gibbs why the press would be barred from an afternoon White House basketball game with Obama, some cabinet secretaries and some members of the House of Representatives.

Gibbs joked that it all stemmed from a day in New York a few weeks ago when Obama played basketball as he often does with Love.

Gibbs noted with a smile that Love told reporters at the time he couldn’t talk about the scrimmage because he’d been ordered not to by Gibbs.

However, Gibbs said, the real reason Love didn’t talk to the press that day was because he’d had several shots blocked by Obama. In fact, Gibbs said, there was a blown up photo in the West Wing of Obama blocking Love. Obama even made Love sign the photo, Gibbs said.

A moment later, an aide brought the photo out to the briefing room, where Gibbs happily shared it with the press corps.

Not to be outdone, Love walked out a few minutes later and took the framed photo back into the West Wing.

View the photo.

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