The Wizards Fan Who Talked Trash to Obama

Discussion in 'Sports & Training' started by jepeh21, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. jepeh21

    jepeh21

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    The Wizards Fan Who Talked Trash to Obama


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    Miles Rawls and Obama. (By Preston Keres - TWP)

    When I saw all the photos of Obama at the Verizon Center getting into it with a fan wearing an Obama t-shirt, and then read the caption identifying the guy as"Washington Wizards fan Miles Rawls," I smiled. Then I thought, "Wait a second....Miles Rawls?"

    That would be Miles Rawls, the commissioner of the Goodman League down in Barry Farms. The same guy who rocks the mic throughout those classic summer league games, saying,for example, "Man, they bumping like a [bad word]" when players make contact. The same guy who once pointed in the general direction of me, a Slateeditor and a Comcast SportsNet employee and saying 'Man, we got white folks in the house. When you've got white folks in the house, youknow you're special."

    That must have made for some interesting Presidential banter, I figured.

    "We were up by 15," Rawls remembered in a phone conversation this afternoon. "I told [Obama], 'You can tell them to warm up the limo,Sir, because this is a wrap here.' "

    And really, not too many people can claim to have taunted a sitting President with the old "Warm up the limo" chant.

    So anyhow, the back story. Rawls has season tickets facing the Wiz bench, at the bottom of Section 110. Like everyone else, he heard the rumors about howObama would be there last Friday night. In anticipation, he went to a sportswear place on Pennsylvania Avenue called Shooters to pick up a $15 Obama t-shirt.He showed up at the Verizon Center around 6:25, and was greeted by his usual usher.

    "The usher told me I had to be on my best behavior," Rawls recalled. "I said 'For what?' She said, 'The President's sittingright in front to you.' I said, 'Well, he best enjoy the show, because y'all know I don't pull no punches. For $285, y'all know what I do.I have me a good time.' "

    Wonder if anyone warned the White House. Indeed, Obama had been placed in those courtside seats in front of 110, some of which are held back for last-minuteVIP requests. A few of the regular ushers thought Rawls might give up his "carrying on" for the occasion; those ushers, the 46-year old said,"must don't know me."

    Indeed, the man who has hosted dozens of NBA stars in Barry Farms over the summer has gone after Kobe and Dwyane Wade. He's gone after LeBron--"Helistens, he gives you a little, smile but he stays focused," Rawls said. And he's gone after Shaq--"exchanging pleasantries," as he callsit.

    "I told Diesel he was going down," Rawls said. "He showed me his four fingers, [like] that's how many rings he's got."

    Obama got a somewhat warmer greeting. Rawls shook his hand. He asked "How do you like my shirt, Mr. President?" Obama said it was beautiful. Rawlstold the President he would treasure this moment, and that he was proud of him. Obama said he appreciated it.

    That was "right at the beginning," Rawls said. "Before it got heated."

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    Miles Rawls and Obama. (By Preston Keres - TWP)

    He said his chatter, like always, was unscripted, "right off the top of my head. I just had to see how he was gonna take it," Rawls said."Once I knew he was a big trash talker, too, about them Bulls, that means the gloves came off."

    And Rawls has been doing this a while. He's put in 13 years as commissioner of the Goodman League, and about 30 years doing play-by-play of thatSoutheast circuit, starting when he was a 15-year old kid with a single, hand-held microphone. He will give the summer players all sorts of grief, playing tothe crowd, but when I asked about his chatter at NBA games, he insisted that "heckling" isn't the right word.

    "Heckling and having a good time are two different animals," he explained. "I wasn't heckling the President and I don't heckle theplayers. I talk about their weaknesses. We was having a good time. He was talking trash and I was talking trash. I couldn't believe he was that laidbackand real. I loved it."

    And while they talked through much of the game, Rawls--who had never met a President--said no lines were crossed. "I wasn't disrespectful," hesaid. "I know my limits."

    So, for example, he told the President that if he was rooting for the visitors, he was "gonna have to keep it to a low roar, because we're cheeringfor the Wizards over here." Obama, in turn, repeatedly needled Rawls about the Wizards' habit of letting leads evaporate, especially when the Bullsmade a run.

    "We was just going back and forth," Rawls said. "Once Chicago started coming back, he told me, 'Now I think you need to sit down.'When Tyrus Thomas dunked on somebody, he turned around, was talking smack. Then JaVale McGee had that alley-oop, and he gave me the high five. We was justsupporting each others' team, having a good time."

    Rawls's phone, of course, started blowing up before the game was over, and has continued to ring as the photos and videos of their exchanges went allover the world. He said he made at least one member of the President's Secret Service detail laugh. He will, of course, keep the t-shirt, and wants to getthe photo autographed; he also hopes to invite Obama to Barry Farms. He said he had an adrenaline rush throughout the entire game, and that it was a "oncein a lifetime experience" he won't ever forget.

    "Where can you do that, sit there and talk smack with the President of the United States face to face?" he asked me. "He's the President,but he's subject to my fun too. I have a no-holds-barred rule."

    "But he enjoyed it," Rawls added. "Trust me."

    (The best account of Obama's trip, of course, was provided byWizznutzz Hoops Addict also has a fine retelling.)
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    Miles Rawls and Obama. (By Evan Vucci - AP)
     
  2. GaBeGRaMz

    GaBeGRaMz

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    [​IMG] that's hot. Obama is a G.
     
  3. fede dpt

    fede dpt

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    Where was my invitation to the game? My tax money paid for that seat!
     
  4. th0mas cr0wn

    th0mas cr0wn

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    Secret Service probably had the scopes on dude the whole time [​IMG]
     
  5. sorkoram

    sorkoram

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. gangsta207therevolution

    gangsta207therevolution

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    Hes a real sports fan, what you expect.
    We have a down to earth president he will be friendly as long as you are.

    I think that he should get a suite at all the Washington D.C Stadiums. I think that if we try and connect on a more human level things will get done faster andwith less pain.
     
  7. supahoopa

    supahoopa

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. guillermo gutierez

    guillermo gutierez

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    they photoshopped the red dots outta the pic. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. dako akong otin

    dako akong otin

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    Obama's so laid back .. doens't even look like a president
     
  10. mateen cleaves

    mateen cleaves Banned

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. heavenlee777

    heavenlee777

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. soleoneyez

    soleoneyez

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    Damn I love my DC peoples. We go on EVERYBODY!
     
  13. kiddin like jason

    kiddin like jason

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  14. enrique23

    enrique23

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. acbboyz84

    acbboyz84

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    the black guy in the shade was probably a CIA agent lol
     
  16. TheGift23

    TheGift23

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    [​IMG]
     
  17. acidicality

    acidicality

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    Why didn't I get to chill at Bush's ranch when he was president? My tax money paid for that vacation!
     
  18. da doc03

    da doc03

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  19. lilstarz07

    lilstarz07 Banned

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    the irony
     
  20. lnmymind

    lnmymind

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    Miles is a legend in DC
     
  21. mustbetheshoe58

    mustbetheshoe58

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    [​IMG] classic
     
  22. ThaxbyChamblis

    ThaxbyChamblis

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    Jesus Christ, if Obama goes out Barry Farms....

    Wow.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  23. retrorod45

    retrorod45

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    [​IMG] thats cool..
     
  24. beallsfinest

    beallsfinest

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    [​IMG] I could see myself kickin it with the Pres. I knew he was at the game,but I didn't know he got down like that. [​IMG]
     
  25. lnmymind

    lnmymind

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    Seriously...on everything I know, it would look something like this:

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    Probably even worse. Miles would go all out for him...probably have alot of Wizards playing, KD & Jeff, Beas, Ty Lawson. Then those dudes would try to flyin their teammates...maybe Westbrook, Wade, etc. It would be huge.