The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Miami's Alonzo Mourning has become close with Obama

President Obama and Alonzo Mourning on the golf course

Associated Press

President Obama and Alonzo Mourning on the golf course

Politico:

Wary of hangers-on and sycophants, President Barack Obama has made few friends since moving into the White House.

Alonzo Mourning, the former Miami Heat star, is a striking exception.

He was one of many boldface Democratic donors willing to lend their names to Obama’s first presidential campaign and became a member of a small group of ex-NBA players summoned to play basketball with the president. Over the past few years, though, the president and player-turned-philanthropist developed a deeper bond that challenges the “no new friends” mantra the Obamas developed during the 2008 race.

Obama and Mourning have played golf together three times since November and spent time together during a March weekend in the Florida Keys. They talk about sports and family but also discuss social issues — particularly their shared interest in helping underprivileged kids. Mostly, though, they just savor the downtime.

“You get caught up in the fact that he’s so personable you do forget that he is the most powerful man in the world,” Mourning said in an interview. “That’s what he wants when he’s around his friends. He doesn’t want to be strictly political every time that he’s around us. I think he just wants to relax and exhale.”

Full Politico story here.

[Last modified: Monday, June 2, 2014 11:51am]

    

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