President Barack Obama doesn’t care if you’re a famous athlete, he wants you to put on a shirt.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship Sunday night, and player J.R. Smith has said he took his shirt off after that game and refused to put it back on for a few days.
When the team arrived back in Cleveland on Monday, Smith still didn’t have a shirt on. He reportedly did put one on Thursday, so his shirt boycott lasted as long as four days.
But Obama apparently didn’t know Smith was no longer shirtless when he called Cavs Coach Ty Lue to congratulate him on the championship win.
“Tell J.R. and everybody to put a shirt on though,” Obama said close to the end of the call. “You can’t be just walking around without a shirt for like, a whole week.”
“I guess if you’re in decent shape than you can do it,” Lue replied, laughing and saying he’d pass along the message.
Obama cracked a few other jokes during the call, and said he hoped the team could visit the White House before Obama’s term was up. Lue said he wanted to make that happen.
“It didn’t hurt having this guy named Lebron James,” Obama said. “He did something.”
Obama has said he would like to look into owning an NBA team after his term in the White House is over. He first mentioned the possibility to GQ in November.
“I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be,” he said in the GQ interview. “I think it'd be terrific.”
Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday that Obama would pursue the opportunity “potentially ... under the right circumstances.”
Obama also asked if Lue still played basketball personally. The coach is 39 years old and replied that he did, but not often. Obama said he’d given up playing two years ago.
“I had too many friends who had an Achilles pop,” Obama said. “I can’t be in a boot for six months.”