Champion Mavs meet Obama

Jan. 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM
1 of 3
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The Dallas Mavericks gave President Obama a No. 23 jersey Monday when the 2011 world champions visited the White House.

Dirk Nowitzki, who presented the jersey to the president, said he heard Obama was "a big, big fan of Michael Jordan," who wore the number. Jordan, now the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, won six championships in Chicago, Obama's hometown.

"Thank you so -- well, you know, I was actually -- I was 23 before Jordan," Obama said.

"Oh, you were?" Nowitzki replied.

"I was," Obama responded to laughter. "So he got the number from me, I think. He stole it."

The president complimented Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for his "outstanding group of players and coaches."

He said the Mavericks, coached by Rick Carlisle, "have a heart that's the size of Texas" and won their title "because they know how good teams win -- not just by jumping higher or running faster, but by finding the open man, working together, staying mentally tough, being supportive of each other, playing smarter."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Report: QB Miller to stay at Ohio State
A-Rod, New York Yankees negotiating compromise over HR bonus
Venable, San Diego Padres pass St. Louis Cardinals
Sacramento Kings trade Stauskas, Landry, Thompson to Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks, Afflalo agree to terms